Inclusion efforts may not be enough if not measured: 3 ways hospital leaders can stay on track


Hospitals are increasingly devoting more attention to diversity and inclusion efforts, but may fall short of measuring whether these efforts are working, according to a May 27 article published in Harvard Business Review.

Research from human resources firm Gartner shows that diversity and inclusion efforts were identified as the No. 1 priority 1.8 times more frequently in 2020 than the year prior. Yet in terms of inclusion, how can healthcare leaders evaluate if their staff feels respected, supported and valued?

Three ways to measure inclusion efforts:

  1. Gauging perceptions of inclusion.
    Employee feedback is the most useful data source for measuring inclusion to get a pulse check on employees. Gartner surveyed nearly 10,000 employees worldwide and asked them to rate their level of agreement with 45 statements on seven inclusion elements.
    The seven elements were fair treatment, integrating differences, decision-making, psychological safety, trust, belonging and diversity. The higher the company scored, the more inclusive it was. These survey results can serve as a baseline. Continuing to ask the same questions over time will show how the company is keeping on track with its goals.

  2. Take action.
    In addition to collecting data, hospital leaders should conduct listening sessions or focus groups to gauge work culture. Hospital leaders should also reflect on their own leadership style to pinpoint behaviors that increase inclusion. Healthcare leaders are in the position to make meaningful changes to their employees' experiences. Oftentimes, they can influence their human resources departments to ensure processes such as recruiting, performance and succession planning are audited for equity.

  3. Be aware of common pitfalls.
    Gartner sees organizations face three issues that get them off track of their inclusion goals. If hospital leaders are taking months to get the results from their inclusion survey, the timeline becomes too long to be helpful. Leaders should assess what other factors will influence inclusion efforts, such as poor conflict resolution. Efforts against these factors should be included in the hospital's action plan. Lastly, don't neglect to share the action your hospital has taken based on employee surveys. Employees want to know their opinions matter.

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