With the YWCA’s mission centered on eliminating racism, and the healthcare system’s commitment to diversity and inclusion from an employee/patient care perspective, training was delivered to human resources and system-wide leaders to address demographic outcomes.
The training addressed a possible root cause for why one of the healthcare system’s strategic initiatives, having a workforce that mirrors its patient population, was not progressing and achieving desired results. The healthcare system found while the patient demographics diversified, the workforce lagged behind. This indicator, employee and patient demographic data, revealed the need to revisit HR recruitment and retention strategies.
Addressing race directly in an interactive, hands-on format assisted the HR staff in understanding how historical perspectives on race can impact hiring outcomes. The training, designed to provide solid information (demographics, information on race/racism, opportunities to discuss cultural differences at healthcare facilities throughout the Midwest) gave staff a newfound level of confidence for addressing race more openly with hiring managers. Success can be measured in a changed mindset. HR Managers and recruiters are now supported in communicating the need to make hiring decisions that will cause this healthcare system to reflect the populations served and better address issues of racism as they appear within the institution.
This training could be adapted for healthcare systems committed to diversifying their workforce and ensuring a strong, culturally competent staff. It requires a commitment from senior management to analyze demographic data, use non-traditional recruitment strategies for sourcing candidates and identifying methods for retaining a diverse workforce.
This approach developed staff competencies to challenge the structures and systems that maintain the status quo in employee demographics. As staff are supported to question how systems (where we recruit and screen employees, how we challenge hiring managers around hiring people of color, how we retain people of color in front-line and leadership positions) are created and maintained we begin to chip away at existing aspects of structural racism to impact staffing outcomes. Addressing race directly is not an easy task for any institution, but health disparities and disparate outcomes for communities of color demand these changes in thinking and strategies.
The teaching approach that made this successful was having two instructors, one a woman of color and the other a white woman, who provided context and safety for staff to question each other and the instructors on how to think differently about race issues at work. A panel of people of color from within the institution provided tangible examples of how race is experienced at work and what allies can do to counteract those experiences. Time-permitting, we will provide resources to assist participants in thinking about these issues as it relates to their healthcare system.
Presentation Information:Program: Poster Presentations (Main Conference)
Primary Category: Cultural Competence Training
Subtopics: Race / racism understanding, Leadership development/training, Assessing learning/performance on cultural competence/disparity reduction
Region Addressed by Presentation: US - Midwest
Organization: Health Care System