What is Workplace Diversity? Improving Diversity in the Workplace (8 Free Templates)

Diversity in the Workplace

Workplace diversity is more than a buzzword. It’s also more than a passing phenomenon.

Whether it’s findings from MIT proving that having an equal gender balance increases revenue, or McKinsey’s discovery that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity have a 35% increase in financial returns above the national average, diversity positively affects both a company’s culture and bottom-line.

At Process Street, we recognize the importance of diversity, but we also understand that improving diversity in the workplace isn’t an easy task for HR teams.

That’s why we’ve created these 8 free templates:

However, before deep-diving into the templates, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of exactly what diversity in the workplace is, and why it’s profoundly important. This will help you get the maximum possible value from our templates.

With that being said, let’s get started!

What is diversity in the workplace?

All human beings are made up of different qualities. From age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, to the languages that we speak and the abilities we do or do not have, there are a lot of elements that form who we are.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines diversity as:

  • “The condition of having or being composed of different elements.
  • Especially: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.”Merriam-Webster, Definition of Diversity

The latter meaning of diversity – the inclusion of different types in an organization – is what workplace diversity is. It’s a way of thinking, a philosophy, to ensure the teams in an organization are well-rounded, thereby including people from various walks of life.

Why is diversity important? And especially in the workplace?

Why Diversity in the Workplace is Important for Teams


From a business perspective, there are no two ways about it: Diversity is essential for success.

It’s been unearthed that job hunters, current employees, and consumers alike all want to devote their resources – their valuable time, effort, and money – to diversity-minded companies.

Findings from the Glassdoor Diversity Hiring Survey show that 67% of active and passive job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor in their decision-making.

In layman’s terms, that means if your company isn’t committed to diversity, you’re potentially discouraging the majority of people who would otherwise apply to work for you.

Glassdoor’s survey also found that 57% of people believed their employers could do more to bolster diversity in the workplace. This shows that the majority of employees actively care about diversity at work. This isn’t too surprising, considering that a diverse and inclusive workplace deters employees from being unhappy, disengaged, and even leaving the organization in favor of another.

As for consumers, diversity is fundamental. Especially among Generation Z and millennials, who are particularly receptive to diverse representation.

The positives don’t end there, either.

By implementing diversity-related hiring practices, organizations can recruit from a broad pool of talent. Then by having a mix of people with varying perspectives, outlooks, and ideas, organizations are more innovative. They’re also more likely to be more creativemore productive, and outperform other teams. And, if that wasn’t enough, they’re also able to meet the needs of their customer base far more easily.

Benefits of diversity in the workplace

It’s not only the advantages mentioned above that truly cements diversity in the workplace as beneficial. Take the following statistics as further proof:

“In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.”McKinsey, Why diversity matters

“Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”McKinsey, Why diversity matters

“Research shows that diversity of thinking is a wellspring of creativity, enhancing innovation by about 20 percent. It also enables groups to spot risks, reducing these by up to 30 percent. And it smooths the implementation of decisions by creating buy-in and trust.” – DeloitteThe diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths

However, for you to help your company realize these benefits, a sustained effort is required. It isn’t enough for the HR team to run a diversity-related checklist once. The process must be used on a regular basis, and, preferably, in tandem with the others.

And this is for good reason.

In a survey of 750 talent managers in the U.S. and U.K., 59% listed diversity shortcomings as a significant challenge to their recruiting efforts. However, by incorporating a set of regular, repeatable processes and workflows, not only would these talent managers be able to acquire talent from a diverse pool of candidates, but they’d be able to retain the talent, too.

This is why teams across the globe who use Process Street – a simple piece of BPM software – take control over their work.

By using processes, you can streamline recurring tasks, get jobs done efficiently, and reduce human error along the way. Which is exactly what an HR team needs to happen when improving workplace diversity.

Processes for improving diversity in the workplace

The following 8 processes will assist all HR teams in their endeavors to strengthen diversity in the workplace. If you want to start using the processes right away, click the links below. If you’d like to read more about them and why they’re so vital, keep scrolling!

Processes for improving diversity in the workplace quicklinks

Diversity questions survey

A Survey of Diversity Questions

How can you measure diversity without data to refer to?

The short answer is you can’t.

It’s simply not possible.

And seeing as companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to earn above-average earnings, and companies with ethnically diverse teams are 35% more likely to financially outperform other businesses, diversity is important to track.

By using this diversity questions survey, you can gather all-important statistics on age, gender, race, and more.

We understand that some employees may not feel completely comfortable answering questions regarding their identity. And we’ve got them covered.

All the questions in this survey are optional. Meaning, if there’s a question that an employee feels apprehension over answering, it can be skipped. This survey, therefore, is also inclusive.

Click here to get the Diversity Questions Survey

Diversity hiring process

The Process of Hiring with a Focus on Diversity

Organizations want to hire the most capable, skilled candidates possible, right?

That can’t happen if roadblocks such as conscious and unconscious biases, non-inclusive job advertisements, and stifled recruiting practices are getting in the way.

This diversity hiring process changes that. For the better.

By using this checklist, you and your team can go through the process of hiring for a new role while ensuring you’re choosing candidates from a broad, diverse talent pool. And by following it step-by-step, you’ll be able to hire the right candidate the first time, thereby minimizing hiring costs – an added bonus.

The entire process is also inclusive, by guiding the HR team to consider non-traditional hiring venues and helping prospective candidates schedule interviews around their already hectic lives.

Here’s to higher-quality hiring.

Click here to get the Diversity Hiring Process checklist

Employee complaint procedure

A Procedure for Employees Filing Complaints

In an ideal world, all workplaces would be harmonious.

However, we’re all but human, and we’re often complicated. Throw the stressors of work into the mix, and tensions can rise. Emotions can flare up. A person can carry out an act without them realizing they had a negative impact on somebody else. And then there are times when a person consciously antagonizes a colleague.

This is where the employee complaint procedure comes in.

This particular employee complaint procedure is intelligent. An employee can write up and lodge their complaint, and then, by using role assignments, a member of the HR team can immediately step in and take over the process. It’s straightforward, effective, and fast – everything a complaint procedure should be. Additionally, the use of conditional logic in this template helps to speed the process up.

Considering the woeful amount of organizations that track employee relations – only 58.9% – make sure your company properly tracks, amends, and resolves issues with this procedure.

Click here to get the Employee Complaint Procedure

Diversity training process

A Training Guide for Employees on Diversity

Without diversity, organizations can stagnate. As this study from McKinsey tells us:

“Companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and for ethnicity and race are statistically less likely to achieve above-average financial returns than the average companies in the data set (that is, bottom-quartile companies are lagging rather than merely not leading).” – Vivian HuntDennis Layton, and Sara Prince, Why diversity matters

With this in mind, diversity training is essential to help foster a diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace. Specifically, diversity training increases inclusivity, cultural awareness, and knowledge around diversity. All of which ultimately results in a workplace which is both happier and healthier.

All HR employees – in addition to managers from other teams in the company – should run the diversity training process. It will provide them with tasks which bolster their knowledge of diversity-related laws, how different groups are impacted at work, and what they can do to sustain a D&I-orientated workplace.

All in all, it will set them up to handle diversity in the workplace well.

Click here to get the Diversity Training Process checklist

Diversity management monthly audit

A Management Review for Diversity Operations

If you’re here, you care about diversity and inclusion. You also know that it can be a struggle to manage your company’s diversity operations – from hiring to handling data, putting in place training to managing employee concerns – all at once.

This diversity management monthly audit eases the struggle.

By launching this checklist at the end of every month, the HR team will manage and audit diversity operations related to the hiring process, data handling, training programs, and employee concerns. This will help diversity operations to run smoothly and successfully.

Although this template has been created with HR managers in mind, it can be easily edited to suit the purposes of all HR employees. That’s the beauty of Process Street templates.

Ready to dive into diversity management?

Click here to get the Diversity Management Monthly Audit checklist

Unconscious bias training guide

A Guide to Unbiasing

Do you remember me mentioning unconscious bias earlier? And do you know what it is?

If not, here’s a rundown.

Human beings are exposed to up to 11 million pieces of information each second. However, only about 40 – not 40%, but 40 – bits of information can be processed during that time. The brain uses quick, interpretative decisions in an attempt to make sense of all the stimuli being thrown at it. These decisions ultimately lead to a by-product known as unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is where you prefer – or don’t like – certain people because of similarities or differences.

The impact of unconscious bias in the workplace is dramatic. Which is precisely why companies like Google are doing what they can to minimize unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias can negatively affect the hiring process, interpersonal dynamics with colleagues, and even the division of labor.

This repeatable training guide will help all company employees realize what unconscious bias is, ways to tackle it, and go through steps to help shed their own biases.

Everyone has unconscious biases. But the key is recognizing them and acting accordingly.

Click here to get the Unconscious Bias Training Guide

Diversity initiatives quarterly improvement process

A Review of Company Diversity Initiatives

By implementing initiatives relating to age, gender, race, sexuality, and more, your employees (and those applying to be employees) will be able to bring their whole selves to work.

Bringing their whole selves to work results in an undeniable array of positive benefits.

“When we don’t bring our whole selves to work we suffer – lack of engagement, lack of productivity, and our well-being is diminished. […]
For teams and organizations, this lack of psychological safety makes it difficult for the group or company to thrive and perform at their highest level because people are holding back some of who they really are.”
Mike Robbins, author of Bring Your Whole Self To Work

The diversity initiatives quarterly improvement process will guide you to establish, sustain, and review the diversity initiatives, thereby improving the impact the initiatives have.

It’s time to take control of your diversity initiatives.

Click here to get the Diversity Initiatives Quarterly Improvement Process

Code of conduct policy adherence process

Code of Conduct

A code of conduct policy clearly states the expected behaviors of employees.

When it comes to fostering inclusion and diversity in the workplace, having a list of codes which can be referred to is game-changing.

In fact, industry leaders like the Ethics & Compliance Initiative stand behind all organizations implementing a code of conduct, no matter if they’re legally required to or not.

Considering its usefulness, you may not be surprised to learn that 86% of Fortune Global 200 companies have a code of conduct policy already in place.

By using the code of conduct policy adherence process, you can have your HR team list the rules of conduct, and then all company employees will be quizzed on codes, to ensure they fully understand them. Gone are the days when employees would scroll to the bottom of a code of conduct document without properly reading what’s required of them.

Click here to get the Code of Conduct Policy Adherence Process

More useful HR resources

And there you have it. Those are our 8 free HR processes that’ll set you on the right path to achieve true inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Diversity at Work


Seeing as we like to help Process Street users as much as we possibly can, there’s a list of additional HR-related resources below. From template packs to blog articles to aid your processes and task management, these essential resources are already being used by HR teams around the globe. Why not use them yourself?

How is the diversity in your organization? Have you noticed any diversity trends from your company? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

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Thom James Carter

Thom is one of Process Street’s content writers. He’s also contributed tech-related writing to The New Statesman, Insider, Atlassian, G2, The Content Marketing Institute, and more. Follow him on Twitter @thomjamescarter.

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