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how to promote a diverse workplace

How to Promote a Diverse Workplace Beyond Heritage Months

The Kensington Falls Church celebrates three important observances during June to honor diversity: Pride Month, Juneteenth, and Immigrant Heritage Month. 

These celebrations are vital for acknowledging the diverse backgrounds of both our residents and team members. 

Falls Church, Virginia, is a community rich in cultural diversity, and recognizing these events helps us create an inclusive environment. 

By celebrating these holidays—and fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity every day—we attract a wider range of talented individuals looking for a senior living career.

Our mission is to ensure that our team reflects the diverse population we serve and can provide the best possible care to our residents.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

What does promoting a diverse workplace entail?

Diversity in the workplace goes beyond just racial and gender differences. It includes various characteristics such as cultural backgrounds, age, sexual orientation, abilities, and socio-economic status. 

True diversity means having a variety of perspectives and experiences within a team, which can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making. 

In a healthcare setting, this diversity is essential to understanding and meeting the diverse needs of residents.

Today’s workplace diversity involves creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. 

This means implementing policies and practices that ensure all employees, regardless of background, can contribute fully and thrive in their roles.

Examples of diversity in healthcare and senior living:

  • Cultural diversity: Staff from different cultural backgrounds can provide insights into culturally sensitive care practices.
  • Age diversity: A mix of younger and older employees can bring a balance of fresh ideas and experienced perspectives.
  • Sexual orientation: LGBTQ+ representation can help ensure that the specific needs of these communities are understood and met.
  • Abilities: Employing individuals with different physical and cognitive abilities promotes a more inclusive environment and better addresses the needs of residents with disabilities.
  • Socio-economic backgrounds: Team members from varied socio-economic backgrounds can offer different viewpoints on cost-effective care and resource management.

Why is diversity important in senior living?

Diverse teams bring a variety of viewpoints, leading to more innovative solutions and creative problem-solving. 

In healthcare, having team members from different backgrounds allows for developing new and varied approaches to resident care, improving overall service quality. 

For instance, a caregiver who shares a cultural background with a resident can offer insights into culturally sensitive care practices that others might overlook.

A diverse workforce can better understand and appeal to a diverse customer base, improving market reach and customer satisfaction. 

In senior living communities, having a team that reflects the residents’ diversity helps build trust and rapport with residents and their families, enhancing the community’s reputation.

How to celebrate diversity in the workplace year-round 

Celebrating diversity year-round involves organizing activities that honor different cultural heritages, promote inclusivity, and encourage understanding. 

Integrating these celebrations into the company’s annual calendar ensures that efforts to promote inclusivity are continuous and meaningful.

Thoughtful ways to honor events:

  • Educational workshops: Host workshops on each celebration’s historical and cultural significance.
  • Cultural heritage events: Organize events that celebrate the cultural heritage of different groups through music, food, and storytelling.
  • Employee-led discussions: Encourage employees to lead discussions and share their experiences related to these observances.

A broader, year-long strategy

Ensure these celebrations are part of an ongoing effort to promote inclusivity. 

Integrate them into the company’s annual diversity and inclusion calendar and use them as opportunities to reinforce the importance of diversity throughout the year.

Ideas for acknowledging these important occasions in the workplace

Creating an inclusive workplace is a year-round commitment. However, recognizing specific heritage holidays is a chance to help employees of all backgrounds feel included and seen. 

Juneteenth (June 19th)

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Activities:

  • Host a Juneteenth celebration with traditional foods, music, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Organize educational workshops on African American history and the significance of Juneteenth.
  • Encourage employee-led discussions on the impact of slavery and the importance of freedom and equality.

Immigrant Heritage Month (June)

Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of immigrants to American society. Launched in 2014 by the nonprofit organization Welcome.us.

Activities:

  • Host a potluck lunch where employees can bring dishes from their heritage and share stories about their cultural backgrounds.
  • Organize storytelling sessions where employees share their immigrant experiences or those of their ancestors.
  • Offer workshops on the history of immigration in the United States and its impact on its development.

Pride Month (June)

Pride Month honors the LGBTQ+ community and commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall Riots, pivotal in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Activities:

  • Organize a Pride parade or virtual event to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and history.
  • Host educational workshops on LGBTQ+ issues, history, and the significance of Pride Month.
  • Create safe spaces for employees to discuss LGBTQ+ topics and share their experiences.

What are effective strategies to encourage inclusion?

  • Create a diversity and inclusion calendar that includes all major cultural observances and holidays.
  • Plan monthly events or activities that focus on different aspects of diversity, ensuring that the celebration of inclusivity is an ongoing effort.
  • Gather employee feedback on these initiatives regularly to continuously improve and adapt the celebrations to meet the needs of your workforce better.

How can organizations overcome challenges in promoting diversity?

Overcoming challenges in promoting diversity involves addressing resistance to change and unconscious bias. Here are some practical solutions to help organizations tackle these challenges effectively:

  • Ensure top management actively supports and promotes diversity initiatives.
  • Communicate the benefits of diversity clearly to all employees, highlighting its positive impact on innovation and performance.
  • Create environments where employees feel comfortable discussing diversity and inclusion openly.
  • Maintain a long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion, understanding that meaningful change takes time.
  • Implement regular training to address unconscious bias and educate employees on the importance of diversity.

Join The Kensington Falls Church’s diverse community

The Kensington Falls Church is an assisted living and memory care community specializing in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. 

We are committed to creating the friendliest, most inclusive environment for our residents and team members. 

To help us do that, we’re currently hiring dedicated and compassionate individuals to join our team. 

If you’re interested in making a difference in the lives of our residents, browse our open care team positions.

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