When developing a plan to increase employee diversity, it is important to set attainable goals which span all levels of employee teams, including leadership. In fact, management's role in embracing diversity practices is very important for the "trickle down" effect for employees on all levels. Leaders of a healthcare team must perform and engage in diversity promotion in order to create a culture of inclusion and value for their diverse employee groups.
A few guidelines for managers to encourage diversity practices are to:
- Involve all employees when developing and implementing diversity programs to overcome change resistance.
- Promote diversity via strategic team-building to expose employees to those of different genders, ages, cultures, etc.
- Initiate team interactions among employees to promote learning about communication styles, skills, and goals of team members.
- Foster fairness with your employee team to allow everyone to equally voice their thoughts and ideas, leaving employees feeling valued.
- Acknowledge and celebrate the differences among your employees and encourage them to let their uniqueness shine.
- Ensure that management positions show diversified leaders. Employee buy-in improves with examples set forth by leadership.
- Be sure, as a leader, to assess and improve (if necessary) your attitude and behaviors, which may include body language and communication techniques in interviews with diverse applicants.
- Employ regular diversity training exercises and/or surveys to gather employee input and improve diversity programs.
- Change your diversity program strategies according to employee input and assess again. Diversity programs should evolve over time to achieve and maintain success.