Running Head: Diversity 1 Diversity in the Workplace Clayton Teague BUS670: Legal Environment (MAE1047A) Instructor: Lisa Johnson January 10, 2011
Diversity 2 Diversity in the Workplace America has been labeled the melting pot because many people from many differentcountries have come to live in America. In today‟s society, multicultural is a common word inthe workplace. Researching the medical field for diversity of cultural background provides manyaspects that need to be addressed. These issues include the mutual respect of management andstaff as well as the patients that are being treated by these professionals. According to JaniceDreachslin in her article titled, Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Why Diversity Leadership Matters,she states that “without effective diversity leadership, even the most culturally competentclinicians will not be able to perform to their full potential.” (Dreachslin, 2008). In theworkplace, the complex social systems are continually becoming more diverse. As a result ofsuch diversity, many situations are coming to the forefront and must be addressed in arespectable, comprehensive manner.Even though diversity creates problems in communication,training is essential in diversity issues because diversity has a positive impact in the workplaceand diversity provides better care for patients. We are aware of the difference in customs and cultures of the many individuals whowork in the health care systems. We are now confronting these issues and must address these in acivil, respectful, careful, and understanding way that will meet the approval of all people. Asresearch progresses, changes in the workforce will need to be made. These changes have to bepresented in a way that both administrators and employees will work together to create thechanges, decide on the implementation procedure and plan strategy to put these ideals in place.Timing is very important. These issues can be very controversial and must be treated withunderstanding and patience.
Diversity 3 Training is essential in diversity issues. In implementing such a program, the researchand discussions that occur will provide invaluable foundations on which to build a positive,people supported program that will benefit the workers as well as the patients that enter into ourcare. All the planning and learning of other cultures are essential in the process of providing aworkable atmosphere. We need to learn and understand others‟ viewpoints and be respectful totheir customs as we expect them to be respectful of ours. It is important that the personnel feelthat they have contributed to the process and have been heard. If an individual feels that theirinput is a part of the process, they will be more willing to accept others‟ input and viewpoints. The research into diversity finds existing plans and the strength and weaknesses of theprogram. By learning and understanding the other programs in existence, one will be abletodevelop a plan that takes the strengths that have been in existence in other plans and use them totheir advantage. The weaknesses of other plans can be an area of study that will provide us withinformation that has been negative and work to improve on the issues to create a better way.Once again, it is important that all personnel be involved at all levels of planning for partialownership in the new developed plan to be implemented. According to the American College ofHealthcare Executives, an article written by Rubenstein states “diversity in the workplace allowsorganizations to build on their team members‟ differences as well as strengthen the bonds formedwith their patients to improve care. It also helps to develop a balanced pool of knowledge andexperience.” (Rubenstein, 2008). In an article titled, Leaping Hurdles, it states that a lot of organizations do not recognizethe value of diversity in leadership. (Vesely, 2010). Quality of care and the deep desire to helppeople is still the foremost issue in treating patients in our care. However, addressing diversityin the workplace is a goal to strive to achieve. Overcoming diversity issues will improve both
Diversity 4the relationship of the workers as well as improve the relationship with the patients being treatedin our care. Additionally, diversity provides better care for patients. In the healthcare business, thenumber one priority is people helping people. In order to proceed with the expectations ofproviding excellent health care to those in need, the healthcare providers must be able tocommunicate with their colleagues as well as their patients. To reach the goal of workingtogether amiably, all must work together with respect to each other, understanding of others‟viewpoints and a genuine desire to get the job done in an orderly, efficient manner. One article,titled, Leaping Hurdles, includes a side bar in the article that states, “The healthcare industry hasmade great strides in the area of diversity, but we still have a long way to go. To provide thevery best care to patients and families, leaders must reflect the communities they serve. Greatorganizations are led by teams of people that are rich in diverse experiences, culture andthought.” (Vesely, 2010). Research provides us with many different ways that diversity is addressed. Some relateinformation regarding the absence of it until an issue arises initiating the inclusion of it for allpersonnel. Many times if these issues are not addressed, they will or may lead to legalinvolvement. One article relates a business interaction between two countries that provided nodiversity training. When members of the two countries met to discuss the business betweenthem, they were clueless to the understanding of the diversity between the two cultures. As aresult, the project met delays and a possible termination of the combined project. Another articletold about the CEO being very determined to include training in diversity, starting at the top andworking throughout the workforce. In the article, Leaping Hurdles, a top executive begins all hisboard meetings with a discussion about quality initiatives. He felt that the initiative should start
Diversity 5at the top and work down. He feels that everyone needs mentors. (Vesely, 2010). JaniceDreachslin, author of the article, Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Why Diversity LeadershipMatters, states, “Without effective diversity leadership, even the most culturally competentclinicians will not be able to perform to their full potential.” (Dreachslin, 2008). The most important reason training is essential in diversity issues is diversity has apositive impact in the workplace. Jordan Cohen, in his article titled, The Case For Diversity InThe Health Care Workforce, states there are four practical reasons “for attaining greater diversityin the health card workforce: (1) advancing cultural competency, (2) increasing access to highquality health care services, (3) strengthening the medical research agenda, and (4) ensuringoptimal management of the health care system.” (Cohen, 2002). He continues to provide furtherincite in the explanation of the above four reasons. “The term cultural competence denotes theknowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior required of a practitioner to provide optimal healthcare services to persons from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.” (Cohen, 2002).He is focusing on the practitioner in his article, but it can also be used effectively throughout thehealth care system. Favoring greater diversity provides “improved access to high-quality healthcare for persons in our society who remain underserved.” (Cohen, 2002). Another reason for advocating greater diversity is to “broaden and strengthen the U.S.health research agenda.” (Cohen, 2002). His last reason for seeking greater diversity for thehealth care professions is “to augment the pool of medically trained executives and public policymakers available to assume management roles in the future health care system and to contributeto governmental efforts that address important health care issues.” (Cohen, 2002).
Diversity 6 In Janice Dreachslin‟s article, Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Why Diversity LeadershipMatters, she expresses the standard operating procedures must reflect the written policy.(Dreachslin, 2008).In the article, Jean Gilbert, Ph.D.“ identifies the following „bottom line‟policy/procedure requirements for cultural and linguistic competence:*Provide signage and written materials that inform patients of their right to interpreter serviceswithout charge.*Institute effective procedures to assess each patient‟s language needs.*Implement a written language policy that guides staff behavior.*Periodically review and adjust resources to meet patients‟ language needs.*Write a plan to meet patients‟ language needs, including both interpretation (oral) andtranslation (written).*Routinely document each patient‟s language needs in the medical record.* Do not rely on patients‟ family or friends as interpreters.” (Dreachslin, 2008) From the research of multicultural diversity in the business world, the worst scenario wasthe business that ignored the fact that multicultural diversity existed. The problem presenteditself when two teams from different countries met to discuss the proposed project. They met animpasse due to communication differences and needed immediate mediation to resolve theproblem. The most favorable solution to diversification was another business who felt that the
Diversity 7diversification should start at the top and the managers would all be mentors to all employees toresolve any diversification differences whether it be cultural or lingual. If I were implementing a plan for diversity, the plan would communicate with the uppermanagement the positive impact that diversity training would be for the employees as well as thepatients in our care. The training would be all inclusive, with all employees having theopportunity to contribute to the plan of design and implementation. After much research, theplan would include the highlights of successful plans and would follow guidelines regardinglegal issues. From the article written by Janice Dreachslin, she identifies “the following humanresource policies and procedures that are key to the recruitment and retention of a high-performing, diverse workforce. Formal mentoring programs. Such programs ensure that the human tendency toward similarity/attraction does not adversely affect the quality and diversity of the pipeline. Professional development and training. This builds human capital through enhanced technical and interpersonal skills, including cultural competence and diversity management at all levels of the organization. Work-life balance and flexible benefits. Intangible advantages like the aid in the recruitment and retention of diverse staff. Affinity groups. Such groups address the social/emotional needs of diverse staff and capitalize on the power of diversity.” (Dreachslin, 2008). To continue with the article by Dreachslin, “diversity leadership is defined by the
Diversity 8extent to which leadership does four things: 1. Ensure that recruitment and retention of a culturally diverse workforce and the provision of culturally appropriate patient services are included in the organization‟s strategic goals. 2. Routinely assess achievement of these goals during the strategic planning process. 3. Assign responsibility for promoting the hospital‟s cultural diversity goals to a dedicated person, office, or committee. 4. Annually report to the community information about the hospital‟s performance in meeting the cultural and language needs of the service area.” (Dreachslin, 2008). Having expressed some of the outcomes that are desired, the training of all employeesshould be to educate about the cultural differences, the language differences, the socialdifferences that comprise the staff and patients in our care. It is vitally important to include theknowledge of possible legal action.The input regarding these issues should be from allemployees, withstanding job position. Our goal is to be more tolerant of the differences ofindividuals within the workforce as well as the patients in our care. In an article written by GailDonovan, the author states, “we want to link diversity with day-to-day operations. (Donovan,2008). As we would implement diversity training into our training structure, we would need toinclude this training to all employees. Initially, a day or two day training session would beappropriate to discuss and determine the necessary goals to achieve the result that would benefitthe understanding and utilization of a positive multicultural environment for all. Follow-upmeetings should be on a regular basis. The members of the group should determine the
Diversity 9frequency. Consideration should be comprehensive in nature. The training group should beconsulted so some groups would not have one meeting a year while others are required to meetmonthly. These meetings should have a focus on an issue that is either informative or an issuethat has presented itself since the previous meeting. The training group would possibly present aportion of the meeting so all groups would receive the same information, working together toattain the goal of diversity: understanding and implementation. Indeed,while diversity creates problems in communication, training is essential indiversity issues. As we have researched and examined ideas that would enable us to becomemore knowledgeable as well as more tolerable of others‟ cultures and emotions, we strive tobetter our communication with our fellow staff as well as the patients we are serving. The criteriafor training will be continually evolving to accommodate whatever issues that will be presented.Our goal is to be better providers of care and ultimately improve ourselves in the process.
Diversity 10 ReferencesCohen, J., Gabriel, B., Terrell, C. (2002). The Case For Diversity In The Health Care Workforce. Health Affairs, 21(5), 90-102.Donovan, G. (2008, May). Well-versed in diversity. Modern Healthcare, 38(20), 27. Retrieved January 1, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1500316601).Dreachslin, J., & Hobby, F. (2008). Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Why Diversity Leadership Matters. Journal of Healthcare Management, 53(1), 8-13. Retrieved January 1, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1422398451).Erdodi, k. (2010, February).A Tool for Better Diversity.Trustee, 63(2), 26, 28, 1. Retrieved January 3, 2011, From ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1972139211).Gabard, D. (2007). Increasing Minority Representation in the Health Care Professions. Journal of Allied Health, 36(3), 165-75. Retrieved January 2, 2011, from Career and Technical Education. (Document ID: 1347572041).Rubenstein, D. (2008, March). Guidelines to achieving diversity.Modern Healthcare, 38(10), 48. Retrieved January 2, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1447862151).Vesely, R. (2010, April). Leaping hurdles. Modern Healthcare, 40(16), 6-7, 26, 28-31. Retrieved January 2, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2018915991).