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Inclusion Frequently Asked Questions

What is inclusion? 

Inclusion is Norton Healthcare’s process for fully utilizing the diverse backgrounds, characteristics and skills inherent in every employee to help us meet our organizational goals, live our values and provide the best possible care to those we serve.

How does inclusion relate to diversity? 

Diversity encompasses all the ways that human beings are both similar and different. Inclusion is an action, a behavior and a plan for using those differences to make Norton Healthcare the best organization it can be. 

Why consider inclusion in Norton Healthcare’s workplace? 

The mission of Norton Healthcare states that we will provide quality health care to all those we serve, in a manner that responds to the needs of our communities and honors our faith heritage. These statements are the foundation for why inclusion is so important to Norton Healthcare. It is important to remember that inclusion is about getting everyone fully engaged in the Mission, Vision and Values of Norton Healthcare.

What’s wrong with the way things have been? 

The rapidly changing demographics and cultural characteristics of our patients and families deserve continuous and consistent respect and understanding. By recognizing their diverse needs, we can retain their confidence in us as their health care provider of choice. Inclusion is about connecting people so that a positive bond is created.

How can everyone fit in? You can’t put a square peg in a round hole. 

Inclusion is not about everyone fitting in immediately. Getting a diverse set of bodies into a room is not enough. We also have to find a way to hear and respect all the voices we’ve put in our room and make them count for something. Inclusion is about engaging people, connecting people, creating trust and building more productive and innovative teams at Norton Healthcare.

Does senior leadership support the strategy of inclusion? 

In 2010, a group of senior leaders, led by Stephen A. Williams, Norton Healthcare’s president and CEO, developed the 2010 Inclusion Strategic Matrix for Norton Healthcare. The document describes Norton Healthcare’s definition of inclusion, guiding principles with regard to inclusion, the business case for inclusion and our key long-term objectives for inclusion. Mr. Williams and our senior leadership team wholly support our inclusion strategy.

Why should companies engage in diversity and inclusion? 

Diversity and inclusion can be seen as an end in itself – as a value and, therefore, the right thing to do – and as a means to an end – “good for business.” It will provide greater engagement, morale, productivity, quality of work, creativity and innovation.

What role will leadership and the Inclusion Council play in attaining our inclusion goals?  

You must have champions to drive cultural change. For inclusion to be successful we must have ownership and accountability. Organizational leaders at Norton Healthcare will be accountable for the attainment of the inclusion goals and long-term objectives. They will be asked to integrate inclusion, diversity and cultural competency into their action plans. The leaders will establish a sense of urgency, form guiding coalitions, communicate their plans and empower teams to act.

How do inclusion metrics relate to accountability? 

Effective up-front design of metrics and reporting help ensure that people choose to accept accountability for achieving inclusion results. In order for the leaders of this organization to embrace ownership and accountability of inclusion, we must align with the business priorities.  

From a day-to-day operational standpoint, what does inclusion mean at Norton Healthcare? 

It means things like having a staff that provides culturally competent care; a workforce that mirrors our community; a welcoming, inclusive environment where differences are respected and appreciated; and an atmosphere of learning, where employees are encouraged to reach their full potential and feel comfortable challenging the status quo.

What are some good books on diversity and inclusion? 

“The Power of Inclusion” by Michael C. Hyter and Judith Turnock
“The Inclusion Paradox” by Andres Tapia
“The Phoenix Principles” by V. Randolph Brown and Janet Butler Reid
“The Loudest Duck” by Laura A. Liswood

Are there magazines focused on diversity and inclusion? 

There are many. For example: DiversityInc, Diversity Executive, Insight Into Diversity and Profiles in Diversity Journal, to name just a few.

What are some types of actionable steps we can take at Norton Healthcare to be more inclusive? 

  • Integrating inclusive behaviors into performance evaluations of all Norton Healthcare employees.
  • Offering inclusion training events, such as classes, e-learning, conferences, symposiums, lunch and learns, networking events and celebrations, to Norton Healthcare leaders and employees, and attending the same.
  • Mentoring and coaching employees in ways that are specific to Norton Healthcare’s diverse demographic populations (age, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation).
  • Development and delivery of inclusion materials that institutionalize cultural knowledge and promote cultural skills in working with diverse patients and workforce.
  • Development and delivery of inclusion activities that departments can implement at staff meetings.
  • Including additional or enhanced questions on Press Ganey surveys and the employee engagement survey about inclusion and meeting cultural needs.
  • Consistently collecting information about patients’ race, ethnicity and preferred health care language.
  • Targeting recruitment efforts to increase the pool of diverse and bilingual candidates interviewed and hired by Norton Healthcare, as suggested by The Joint Commission in the 2010 document, “A Roadmap for Hospitals.”
  • Updating vender master files to identify diverse suppliers and calculate Norton Healthcare’s annual spending with minority- and women-owned businesses. Also, implementing processes and procedures to promote supplier diversity.
  • Developing an annual written supplier diversity plan that lists Norton Healthcare’s planned activities to sustain and promote supplier diversity for our community.
  • Acquiring or developing a tool to evaluate Norton Healthcare’s level of cultural competency and patient- and family-centered care.
  • Administering inclusion 360-degree assessments (RDR Group, Global Lead, etc.) to all Norton Healthcare leadership.
  • Establishing an internal and external branding campaign for Norton Healthcare diversity and inclusion strategies.
  • Sponsoring appropriate organizations to illustrate Norton Healthcare’s corporate citizenship and inclusiveness to diverse communities in Louisville Metro and surrounding counties.  

 What are some best practices in diversity and inclusion? 

Have senior management communicate the vision of an inclusive environment

Successful business initiatives begin with management vision. Creating an environment that enables and leverages diversity is an important business initiative, requiring the same type of management support and commitment as any other. When associates and managers believe senior management is committed to creating an inclusive environment, they are more likely to behave in ways that are consistent with management’s expectation. Senior management may use various vehicles to communicate the organization’s vision, including annual reports, company newsletters, memos, corporate policy statements, employee meetings, etc.
Conduct an organizational assessment to identify factors that support an inclusive environment and those that present barriers 
It is important to identify systems and practices within the organization that will impact efforts to launch a successful diversity initiative. When doing so, consider such factors as:

  • Recognition and rewards – Is the organization more likely to recognize individual performance or team results?
  • Decision-making – Are decisions made at the top or closer to the actual work?
  • Employee development –Are there mechanisms (i.e., internal job postings, succession planning, mentoring, etc.) in place to support the development of individual talent?
  • Organizational demographics – How diverse is the associate and management populations?
  • Organizational structure – Does the organization have centralized structures or decentralized (autonomous) units?

These and other organizational characteristics will impact the implementation of successful diversity initiatives.

Develop a diversity strategy to guide planning, decision-making and implementation of initiatives

Strategic planning is critical to a successful business endeavor. Without a plan that includes clear objectives and measures, it is easy to get sidetracked by efforts that appear attractive but do not support the desired business outcomes. A strategic plan will identify and justify the use of resources (money and other assets) for diversity initiatives. Involve a broad cross-section of employees in developing the strategic plan.

Incorporate accountability for diversity into the performance management and reward systems

Individuals are more likely to participate in those things that impact their performance and pay. When diversity becomes part of the assessment and compensation programs, management sends a strong message that diversity is an important organizational focus.

Link initiatives to the company’s diversity strategy as well as to other stated business goals

Those diversity initiatives that clearly relate to the organization’s business goals are most likely to be successful. This is true because employees are more likely to support efforts that accomplish business goals. Consequently, resources allocated to support such initiatives are more likely to be approved.

Do not confuse representation (affirmative action) with diversity (inclusion)

Affirmative action programs are designed to increase the representation of minorities and women in jobs where they have historically been under-represented. Diversity programs go a step further by leveraging the talents of all types of individuals in an organization. Bringing all employees and their views to the table to contribute to the organization’s success is the goal of inclusion.

Educate managers and employees

Diversity awareness and diversity management training prepare associates and managers to participate fully in a diverse organization. Training that includes the traditional diversity topics as well as team-building, communication styles, decision-making and conflict resolution will increase employee effectiveness in a diverse environment.

Do not attempt more initiatives than can be accomplished with available resources

Undertaking multiple projects may dilute management support and employee efforts. Like all business initiatives, diversity programs and projects need to be prioritized. The strategic use of resources will ensure that the most important initiatives can be accomplished.

Make sure all company-sponsored events and activities are inclusive

The organization can best recognize and value employee segments with inclusive practices. Company-sponsored events and activities that are inclusive create an environment that encourages diverse individuals to use their talents toward the achievement of organizational goals. Activities that are exclusive to a segment of the employee population are not as effective in bringing about the organization’s desired results.

Celebrate successes both internally and externally (through appropriate vehicles)

Communicate accomplishments in creating an inclusive, diverse environment. Internally, celebrations send the message to employees that the company continues to value diversity and reward diversity. Externally, the organization sends the message to potential employees, investors, customers and other stakeholders that a diverse and inclusive environment is one of the reasons for its success. This creates a positive public image that continues to impact the organization at many levels.

Why is cultural competence important? 

As we serve an increasingly diverse patient population, it is important to understand, appreciate, respect and integrate the patient’s cultural beliefs into treatment plans. In order to improve treatment outcomes, it is important that we understand the patient’s frame of reference. At Norton Healthcare, we offer resources that provide insight into the beliefs and practices of the cultural and religious groups we serve. Further, we view diversity, inclusion and cultural competency education as an ongoing process that requires continuous introspection and application. Cultural competence is more than awareness, it is a skill.

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