Diversity Assessment and Action Plan Workbook


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Product Description

This workbook focuses on the impact of diverse cultures on the work environment and management practices that enhance the full utilization of a diverse workforce. Users of this workbook will learn about beliefs and attitudes of their employees and ways to strengthen employee engagement.

A successful diversity action plan begins with an organization-wide assessment, followed by recommendations based on the assessment findings. It will include diversity and inclusion goals, action steps to achieve those goals, and a format to measure outcomes.

The goal of a diversity action plan is to create an ongoing, sustainable program for developing and managing a diverse workforce that reflects the communities your organization serves. The action plan should incorporate all areas of the organization involving diversity and inclusion, including aspects from many different perspectives, such as:

  • Your organization’s history.
  • All organizational components that affect the success of the organization.
  • Demographic makeup of the communities and individuals that your organization serves or desires to serve.
  • Diverse backgrounds of employees, applicants and potential applicants.
  • National diversity trends.
  • Outside vendors/consultants that can assist with the process.

All types of organizations can benefit from this workbook.


“This book is a much needed resource! Many organizations are struggling with attracting, hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, and this book offers a straight forward, easy to understand process to undertake this daunting task.

We are proof that Lila’s diversity action plan system works! The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office hired Lila Kelly to help create a diversity action plan. Lila interviewed staff members, reviewed current and historical documents related to diversity and created a five year diversity action plan which was adopted by the Office’s Executive Committee. Her recommendations were challenging to meet but were on the mark. The plan is still unfolding, and the Office has experienced much success in integrating diversity and inclusion in the way it does its work.”
― Mark Chapin, Director of Resident and Real Estate Services Hennepin County, (former Chief Deputy in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office), Minneapolis, MN

Author’s Note

I became grounded in this process while supervising over 100 working adult students in performing organizational assessments and developing diversity action plans. This was while instructing a college course on Managing a Diverse Workforce over a six year period. Many of the students had their diversity action plans implemented by their organizations, which were of different sizes and industries. Guiding these students, and subsequently several client organizations, through this process has helped me refine the 10-step process for this workbook.

This workbook contains material that I have developed over the last 20 years while working with many aspects of organizational diversity. It is not inclusive of everything an organization might want or need related to diversity and inclusion, but it offers a starting point. The material should be tailored to meet the uniqueness of each organization.

Goals of this Workbook

There is no quick fix or cookie-cutter approach to accomplish the goal of organizational diversity and inclusion. This workbook offers a process that will help your organization’s leadership begin and maintain their commitment to becoming a diverse and inclusive organization.

This workbook will guide your organization through the assessment and development process for a strategic organizational diversity action plan.

The goal of this workbook is to introduce the scope of developing a strategic diversity action plan and help your organization begin down the right path. It will take you step-by-step through a process to perform the intense and thorough work necessary to achieve systemic, sustainable change and become a truly inclusive organization.

Before beginning this process, it will be helpful if your organization’s leaders have discussed:

  • The changing demographics in the U.S. and ways these changes can affect the organization’s success.
  • The importance of developing and implementing a strategic diversity action plan.

Users of this workbook will:

  • Gain an understanding of the concepts, dimensions, and value of diversity related to their organization.
  • Achieved the knowledge needed to perform an organizational assessment and develop a diversity action plan.
  • Be able to identify and develop human resource and human capital management plans and initiatives to maximize organizational effectiveness and productivity.

Intended Outcomes of a Diversity Action Plan

Action planning will help your organization:

  • Clearly define goals and the business case for diversity and inclusion.
  • Ensure the best strategy to successfully invest in its short and long term goals.
  • Prioritize the allocation of resources (human, operating and capital) to:
  • Fulfill the organization’s mission.
  • Achieve the vision and goals of the organization.
  • Actively engage all people who are critical to successful implementation.
  • Clearly define actions to address critical success factors and achieve goals.
  • Provide measures to evaluate success of the action plan.

Outcomes will depend on the effort and time put into mastering the material in this workbook, performing the assessment, and developing and implementing the action plan.



  • Author’s Note
  • Overview of this Workbook
  • Goals of this Workbook
  • Intended Outcomes of a Completed Diversity Action Plan


  • Step 1: Ensure Executive Commitment and Appoint an Action Plan Manager 8
  • Step 2: Add a Description of Your Organization 9
  • Step 3: Define Diversity and Determine Diversity and Inclusion Goals 9
  • Step 4: Develop a Business Case for Diversity 9
  • Step 5: Develop a Communication Plan 10
  • Step 6: Conduct an Organizational Assessment 11
  • Step 7: Conduct an Employee Assessment 12
  • Step 8: Report Factors that Affect Diversity and Inclusion in an Assessment Summary 13
  • Step 9: Recommend Action Steps 15
  • Step 10: Draft a 5-Year Action Plan with Action Steps, Accountability and Time Frame 16



  • Appendix A: Sample List of Employee Assessment Questions 47
  • Appendix B: Sample Major Challenges Reported from Other Organizations 50
  • Appendix C: Sample Checklist for Hiring a New Employee 51
  • Appendix D: Additional Detail for Step 10: Draft a 5-Year Action Plan 53
  • Appendix E: Template – Organizational Diversity Action Plan 55
  • Appendix F: Template – Department Manager Diversity Action Plan 75