Indigenous Employment Index

Employer Roadmap

The Employer Roadmap has been developed to translate the Indigenous Employment Index findings into a comprehensive framework reflecting evidenced-based practices.

It supports organisations to set their aspiration, assess their current performance, and identify priorities to drive systemic and sustainable Indigenous employment outcomes — beyond just the number of Indigenous employees at an organisation. Over time, the Employer Roadmap will evolve to include “How to Guides” for targeted practices.

Explore the employer roadmap

Navigate the Employer Roadmap to find evidence based practices that can drive sustainable and systemic Indigenous employment outcomes in your organisation.

Use the Employer Roadmap to deepen your understanding of the employment practices that can lead to impactful change towards Indigenous Employment Parity.

Open the roadmap

Indigenous Employment Index – Employer Roadmap

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The design of the Employer Roadmap is based on artwork by Julianne Wade.
Partnerships and Community
Strategies, partners and Indigenous voices.
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Genuine Partnerships
Level 1
Foundational
  • Partner with schools and universities.

    pp. 98-101

  • Partner with Indigenous businesses to guide community engagement, recruitment and/or Indigenous employment.

    pp. 114-121

Level 2
Growth
  • Partner with key Indigenous reconciliation and supply organisations.

    pp. 114, 120-121

Level 3
Integration
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Indigenous pipeline, cultural capability and cultural immersion partnerships.

    pp. 114-119

Partnerships and Community
Strategies, partners and Indigenous voices.
Back
Community Engagement Strategy
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • Indigenous pillar in community engagement strategy.

    pp. 118-119

Level 3
Integration
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Localised and place based Indigenous community engagement strategy led by Indigenous employee.

    pp. 118-119

Partnerships and Community
Strategies, partners and Indigenous voices.
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Procurement and Supply Chains
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Embed Indigenous employment commitments in procurement policies.

    pp. 120-121

Commitments and Accountability
Policies, strategies, targets and accountability.
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Reporting and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practices are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • Annual Indigenous employment reporting to board and senior leadership including leaders KPI review.
    pp. 50-51

Level 3
Integration
  • No practices are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Monthly Indigenous employment reporting to senior leadership including leaders KPI review.
    pp. 50-51

Commitments and Accountability
Policies, strategies, targets and accountability.
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Plans, Policies and Governance
Level 1
Foundational
  • Develop both Diversity and Inclusion strategy and policy with Indigenous employment as a key pillar.
    p. 43

  • Develop an Indigenous employment plan and/or Reflect RAP.
    pp. 44-45

Level 2
Growth
  • Develop Innovate RAP, and commit to truth telling, particularly focused on historical trauma.
    pp. 44-45

Level 3
Integration
  • Commit to Stretch RAP let by Indigenous leader or CEO.
    pp. 44-45, pp. 48-49

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Commit to Elevate RAP led by Indigenous leader or CEO.
    pp. 44-45, pp. 48-49

  • 10 year+ Indigenous employment plan and progress published externally.
    pp. 50-51

Commitments and Accountability
Policies, strategies, targets and accountability.
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Procurement and Funding
Level 1
Foundational
  • Give weight to tendering parties with Indigenous employment programs; and Indigenous-owned businesses.
    p. 121

Level 2
Growth
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Level 3
Integration
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Commitments and Accountability
Policies, strategies, targets and accountability.
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Targets
Level 1
Foundational
  • Establish employment targets.
    pp. 50-51

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Publish employment targets and progress externally.
    pp. 50-51

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
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Embedded Perspectives
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Seek Indigenous input into initiatives.
    p. 71

  • Compensate and recognise internal and external advisors.
    p. 71

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
Back
Engagement
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Regular Indigenous lived experience reporting to board, senior leaders and line managers.
    p. 86

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
Back
Network
Level 1
Foundational
  • Indigenous employee network and all Indigenous employees are provided time to participate in activities.
    p. 86

Level 2
Growth
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Level 3
Integration
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
Back
Cultural Learning
Level 1
Foundational
  • Conduct cultural learning needs analysis.
    p. 82

Level 2
Growth
  • No practices are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Mandatory learning for all employees.
    p. 82

  • Revise annually, evaluate progress and report.
    p. 82

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Tailored learning for board and leadership and those engaging Indigenous communities.
    p. 82

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
Back
Cultural Events
Level 1
Foundational
  • Celebrate NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week and consistently Acknowledge Country at events.
    pp. 84-85

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Celebrate and evaluate cultural events.
    pp. 84-85

Workplace Culture and Inclusion
Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.
Back
People and HR Process
Level 1
Foundational
  • Specific Indigenous considerations in Code of Conduct, grievance processes, Employee Assistance Program; and cultural safety in health and safety policy.
    pp. 74-75, 90

  • Provide opportunity for Indigenous employees to identify and have processes with Indigenous data governance inclusions.
    pp. 74-75

Level 2
Growth
  • Flexibility and cultural leave in People/HR policies, communicate and discuss needs with Indigenous employees.
    pp. 74-75

Level 3
Integration
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Attraction and Recruitment
Indigenous recruitment processes and support, role availability, pipeline development and pre-employment support.
Back
Support Indigenous Applicants
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Indigenous representation on interview panel and inclusive process.

    p. 97

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Support Indigenous applicants in a range of areas.
    p. 97

Attraction and Recruitment
Indigenous recruitment processes and support, role availability, pipeline development and pre-employment support.
Back
Plan and Manage
Level 1
Foundational
  • Indigenous attraction and recruitment strategy.

    p. 94

  • Hiring manager guidance on the impact of colonisation on work readiness.

    pp. 68-69

Level 2
Growth
  • Identify Indigenous candidates, guaranteed interview based on meeting requirements and feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

    pp. 96-97

Level 3
Integration
  • Indigenous led attraction and recruitment strategy including an Indigenous Employee Value Proposition.

    pp. 33, 94

  • Work with Indigenous recruitment agencies to provide pathway programs for trainees and interns.

    pp. 33, 94, 98, 100

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Attraction strategy for Indigenous senior leaders.

    p. 95

Engagement and Development
Participation, retention and employee engagement, career pathways, and promotion.
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Development
Level 1
Foundational
  • Provide informal mentoring.

    pp. 104-105

  • Study leave for Indigenous employees.

    pp. 104-105

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Specific leadership and development programs for Indigenous employees.

    p. 104

Engagement and Development
Participation, retention and employee engagement, career pathways, and promotion.
Back
Retention
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practices at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • Exit survey and interview for all Indigenous employees.

    p. 108

Level 3
Integration
  • No practices at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Retention process during restructures and board and senior leadership retention reporting.

    p. 106

Engagement and Development
Participation, retention and employee engagement, career pathways, and promotion.
Back
Reviews and Promotions
Level 1
Foundational
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 2
Growth
  • No practises are at this level. Continue to focus on other practises within this domain.

Level 3
Integration
  • Indigenous representation in talent review and promotion process.

    pp. 104-105

Level 4
Advocacy
  • Continue to build previous level practice(s).

Partnerships and Community

Strategy, partners and Indigenous voices.

  • Do you engage with Indigenous communities and organisations, including through employment partnerships and their supply chains?
Commitments and Accountability

Policies, strategies, targets and accountability.

  • Do you have strong commitments to Indigenous employment, do you report on progress towards targets, and who is held accountable for results?
Workplace Culture and Inclusion

Indigenous cultural awareness, capability and cultural safety.

  • How do Indigenous employees feel in their workplace in terms of safety, racism, cultural awareness, cultural load and identity?
  • What practices are in place to support the workforce on their journey to intercultural responsiveness?
Attraction and Recruitment

Indigenous recruitment processes and support, role availability, pipeline development and pre-employment support.

  • How do you attract and recruit Indigenous employees, and are these practices effective?
Engagement and Development

Participation, retention and employee engagement, career pathways, and promotion.

  • Do you provide career pathways for development of Indigenous employees?
  • Are Indigenous employees retained and represented at senior levels?
Listen
Yarn
Act
Empower
Empower Indigenous leadership and intergenerational change
To empower Indigenous employees and the broader Indigenous community, employers need to focus on Indigenous leadership and drive intergenerational change, such as by supporting future generations. To do this successfully, employers should be embedding and continually improving all practices. Indigenous Australians should be empowered and enabled to make decisions and have their voices heard.
Listen
Yarn
Act
Act authentically through people focused care and genuine relationships
Significant reflection and learning are required before employers should move to action. Employers can begin to hold themselves accountable and build strong relationships with external Indigenous providers. Taking a people centred approach based on genuine relationships, care and authenticity is key. Employers need to understand and acknowledge unconscious bias and then take action to overcome it and apply their learning in the workplace. To ensure sustainability and establish a positive legacy, employers must view action as an ongoing responsibility rather than a one-off commitment.
Empower
Listen
Yarn
Yarn through two-way dialogue
Employers should actively engage with their employees, processes and protocols in a two-way dialogue to consider the context. In some cases, this may involve external stakeholders. Both quantitative and qualitative data are critical to making informed decisions based on a comprehensive and systemic approach. Employees may have suggestions or questions about the practices being undertaken, and it is important to engage with employees to help them understand the ‘why’.
Act
Empower
Listen
Listen to Indigenous voices and lived experiences
Employers need to first listen to Indigenous employees during the planning and development of Indigenous employment actions. Indigenous employee engagement allows for deep consideration of the design and impact of practices on individual experience. However, it should not fall only to Indigenous Australians to drive change, and employers should be cognisant of the impacts of cultural load. Strategies should be put in place to avoid contributing to the load; for instance, through offering compensation for advice, utilising identified positions, or approaching the Indigenous employee network to gauge interest in participating in activities or giving advice.
Yarn
Act
Empower

Click parts of the framework to show more information.
Foundational
Have some commitment to Indigenous employment and implementing basic Indigenous employment practices. Initial outcomes are yet to be seen, or in progress.
Growth
Implementing many Indigenous employment practices, and Indigenous employment outcomes are visible.
Integration
Embedding a wide range of Indigenous employment practices with strong outcomes across several domains. Indigenous employment is becoming an integral way that the organisation does business.
Advocacy
Displays the highest commitment to Indigenous employment, by achieving strong Indigenous employment outcomes in all domains, implementing leading practice, and publicly influencing and supporting other employers with their journey.
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How to use the roadmap

This Employer Roadmap reflects a systemic Indigenous worldview that asks employers to apply the different actions in a way that empowers Indigenous voices. In contrast with the action-first Western approach, this Indigenous reflective process is iterative and ongoing – Listen, Yarn, Act, and Empower. This should be an ongoing process as you move through your Indigenous employment journey.

To use the roadmap:

1

Click on any Index domain to learn more. We recommend starting with Commitments and Accountability, and prioritising Workplace Culture and Inclusion.

2

Click on a sub domain you would like to explore within each domain to reveal the practices.

3

For each practice, assess your current state, identify gaps and determine priorities.

Please note: for more in depth assessment of your Indigenous employment practices and outcomes, consider participating in the next Indigenous Employment Index.

Find out more

Guiding principles

The Employer Roadmap is based on the following guiding principles:

Where do you want to be?

Employers together with their Indigenous employees, have strong aspirations for Indigenous employment success. This innovative and forward thinking approach aligns to business strategy and corporate social responsibility.

Where are you now?

Employers are grounded in truth and listen intently to their employees. Employers acknowledge and address outcomes of their workplace practices and culture, both positive and negative, including cultural competence, bias and systemic racism.

How will you meet the needs and aspirations of your Indigenous employees?

Indigenous employees are empowered and encouraged to thrive and grow. Employers support them when they identify in workplaces.

How do you embed a comprehensive and systemic approach to change?

Collective and individual progress is measured over time. The roadmap integrates comprehensive and systemic Indigenous ways of thinking into a current Western business model.

We would like to acknowledge Country and pay respects to the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the many lands and waters on which this research was conducted. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

The full findings, recommendations and methodology are available in the Indigenous Employment Index

Aerial viewpoint looking down on the dramatic patterns of the dry river beds and cracked land of outback Queensland, Australia. Photo Credit: Vicki Smith. Getty Images.