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Step 2: Developing an action plan

4 minute read

This is the second step of the Workplace Equality and Respect process.

This step involves prioritising and planning your short-term actions and developing a long-term strategy or action plan, based on the needs and circumstances of your workplace.

Planning processes are as diverse as workplaces themselves, so it’s up to your organisation how you develop your long-term strategic plan and choose the activities that will form your strategy. You can use the planning processes and templates you already have in your workplace or look at the sample Planning Tool. You will also need to gather data on your workplace’s current progress and undertake a self-assessment to identify strengths and places for improvement.

Whatever your planning method, it’s essential that you base your plans on consultation with staff and data about your workplace. This can include:

  • Data collected on Workplace gender equality indicators
  • Results of the Staff survey
  • Notes from the Workplace self-assessment

Consulting staff and collecting data

Consultation is essential for staff to have opportunities to provide feedback on their experiences in the workplace, to identify the ways gender influences and shapes their working lives, and to provide feedback on their experience of this change process.

You may also wish to consult with stakeholders outside of the organisation, such as key clients or service users, to understand their experiences of your workplace culture and practices.

The consultation process can take several months, but it will be worth your time and effort as the information you gather will underpin the work you do in the future.

  • Different types of information need to be collected for you to prioritise and plan your strategies for change. The Workplace gender equality indicators tell you what information to collect, give advice on how to collect this information and provide links to useful resources to support you.
  • The Staff survey will assist you to collect data about current attitudes and practices in your workplace.
  • Once you’ve consulted with staff, and collected other data, you can use the information gathered to help complete your Workplace self-assessment. This tool is designed to support you to assess your workplace against the Standards to determine priorities for your action plan.

Developing a long-term strategy and immediate action plan

It’s also important that you plan for change that builds over time. Once you identify your goals and gaps, use available evidence about what works to achieve your desired outcomes.

Wherever you enter this process, it is important that over the long term your initiatives address all five Standards, though generally workplaces begin in their first year by addressing only one or two.

It’s important that your choice of actions is deliberate and appropriate for your organisation. To choose the best practice actions that are right for your workplace you might want to look at examples of work others have done.

To determine if an action is right for you, keep your end goal in mind and try to map how one action or achievement leads to the next. This will help you prioritise actions and see how they link together.

Consider which actions might support other actions. For example, make sure that changes to one policy are reflected in other relevant polices.

What's next?

Move on to the Workplace gender equality indicators