Workforce diversity refers to the similarities and differences that exist among employees. Some of the necessary distinctiveness of this difference include sexual orientation, race, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, and both physical disabilities and abilities. Although the health care systems have continued to diversify its workforce in terms of ethnic and racial employees, the minorities are still underrepresented in the health care sector. The new entrants into the health care workforce mostly comprise of minorities and women. It is vital to employ and retain a diversity of employees in order to satisfy the health care needs of different communities that come to the health care facilities to receive services. In addition, when the workforce is diverse, the productivity and innovation are enhanced.
This article will include research on the management of a diverse health care service workforce. Managing diversity can be described as the preparation and the execution of the systems which exist within the organization in order to control people with the aim of maximizing the advantages of diversity while reducing the disadvantages. The recruitment of workers who belong to different races, ethnic groups, and age categories as well as the process of adapting the style of leadership that accords respect to various cultures and supporting understanding among the different groups are the main goals of any organization. This can bring down the issues of turnover and improve health care. The culture of diversifying the workforce in the health care systems enables all the needs of the patients to be addressed adequately. In order to respond to the high shift in ethnic and racial demographics in the health care systems, it is important to include the diverse health care workforce that is involved in the process of developing intellectual competence. A boost in the ethnic and cultural diversity in the health care system workforce is essential because it ensures efficient provision of health care to the communities that are considered minorities. The diverse workforce will enhance the expansion of access to the healthcare by the undeserved. Managing diversity involves the consideration of the diversity effects in order to create particular human resource policy areas.
To understand the strategies for managing the diverse workforce in the health care systems, I conducted corresponding research in various health facilities. The ones whose workforce is diverse and those whose workforce is not yet entirely different administered questionnaires to the health care providers and the facilities’ administration. The surveys were meant to obtain their views on their relationships with each other and the troubles they face while providing their patients with the healthcare services. In addition, different interviews with the administrators of the various health care facilities were conducted. They were asked about the challenges they face while leading a diverse workforce as well as about the advantages of its diversity . The respondents were also asked about the strategies they have established to manage the different workforce they have in their healthcare facilities.
Most health care providers admitted having challenges related to their colleagues from different cultures, races, age groups, genders, and sex orientation. The administrators also recognized facing serious problems while leading this workforce. They reported applying the following strategies to manage the intergenerational diversity: building a strong generational foundation, introducing effective generational management practices and developing generational competence (Hernandez, 2009). Building a strong generational foundation involves the assessment of the organization's workforce profile and obtaining a talent that is based on the generational differences. The findings of the research demonstrated that the healthcare facilities that had embraced diversity were performed better than those that had not involved it. Many patients were served satisfactorily and competently, and this diversity also enabled the service providers to attend to the patients from various ethnic and racial groups efficiently.
Concerning the service providers, they discussed about treating others in the way they expected to be treated in return. They appreciated one another regardless of the ethnicities and races of the groups. The younger providers respected the older ones while the older respected the younger workers. The roles of the workforce include considering and tolerating the concepts of managing diversity and recognizing that it is present in all the aspects of administration. Other roles include ensuring self-awareness through understanding own culture, and they should portray their willingness to change the practices in the institutions that create obstacles to the diverse groups. Managing diversity deals with recognition of people and acknowledging their differences as important (Abdelhak, Grostick, & Hanken, 2015).
The managing strategies for a diverse workforce include specifying the requirement for the respective skills to work in a different environment. The other strategy is to ensure that the efforts are made to employ a diverse pool of applicants. It is moreover imperative to make the firm where the correct accommodations are provided for the disabled applicants. More than a few other factors need to be measured in order to manage diversity in the health sector. These include sincere commitment to creating diversity among the leaders in the organization and practices as well as policies that promote cultural competence should be involved at all the levels in the organization. The organization’s mission goals and reward structures should indicate its commitment to the diversity. It is also crucial to recruit and include personnel from diverse cultures and age groups at all levels of the health care systems. There should be active participation of representatives from different cultural communities in the health care organizations planning and delivery processes. The health concern organizations need to make proper decisions regarding the services and interventions, it is key to conducting a careful search of the community needs, language preferences, and demographic data. It is also central to become more skilled in relation to the effects of socio-cultural beliefs regarding health and the attitudes of the people receiving the services (Hernandez, 2009).
After establishing the health care needs of various communities, it is important to invest resources into the development of interventions that are relevant to these communities. Once the diverse workforce has been recruited, it is crucial to retain it. While analyzing this topic, I reviewed previous research on the ways in which the issue of workforce diversity has been treated cross-culturally. It was revealed that in order to successfully manage a heterogeneous workforce in the health care systems, it is important to apply a holistic revolution of human resource strategies. On the other hand, the efforts made to establish cross-cultural and diversity-oriented models have failed to mature (Ku, Frogner, Steinmetz, & Pittman, 2015).
Once an organization has acknowledged the diversity of culture in its workforce, good management performance is improved by inhibiting prejudice and promoting extensiveness. Working effectively with a diverse workforce does not only involve good management but also the ability to understand the part that diversity plays in a particular area of management. Diversity is a fundamental part of management. In order to demonstrate it, these two examples have been considered; one which focuses on the area of selection and the other which investigates communication (Abdelhak, Grostick, & Hanken, 2015).
Good management of diversity has many advantages in the generation when the ability to be flexible and inventive are necessary for competitiveness. The health care facility does not need to be rigid in order to satisfy the needs of all the patients. Diversity enhances creativity and that people from different cultures can find better solutions to health problems as well as conduct critical analyzes. With a good management strategy, a health facility can be reputed as an employer of choice. They will not only have the advantage to attract the best and talented practitioners, but also save the costs of recruitment, time and expenses that result from the turnover. The health facility will be accepted as an institution that portrays the diversity of the country. It will also be able to meet the demand and to deliver services to an increasingly diverse patient base (Hernandez, 2009).
The health care environment consists of the patients from different races, ages, and ethnic groups, so are the caregivers. Having the ability to deliver services efficiently as well as while cooperating with the colleagues from all walks of life will ensure the recognition of the valued health care provider. Managing diversity in this environment includes developing a sense of respect and tolerating other people who are from a different walk of life. The first step involves the ability to recognize that people from diverse backgrounds have a distinct way of communicating. It is crucial to understand while passing medical information to the colleagues or explaining the health care problems to the patients. It is important to tolerate other people who do not speak the similar language and try to ensure that the information one intends to pass reaches the person one is referring to, be it your colleague or the patient. This can be achieved through a translator or registering the information on paper (Hernandez, 2009).
The second step is to ensure that one understands and tolerates the religious beliefs that different people hold about the provision of health care. For example, blood transfusion and organ transplants are not allowed in some religions. It is important to have patience with different people who might hold different beliefs and values. It is also vital to respect the choices that people make regarding the health care services to be delivered to them. Some people do not accept modern medicines and prefer medical approaches that are less invasive. It is necessary to take time and explain the procedures and complicated terminologies to people who come from diverse walks of life. A good health care provider should listen to their concerns and explain to them why it is necessary to undergo a given treatment as recommended as well as give them other alternative methods that are available. This will enable the patient himself and his family to comprehend the health condition and to understand the corresponding therapy. After describing the treatment and availing the options it is good not to intervene in their decision. It is also vital to respect their choice without questioning it. If one is working on a regular basis with the patients and colleagues from a particular ethnicity, it is important to develop the interest in learning their language. It is also advisable to master their preferences, cultural beliefs, and differences in communication (Hernandez, 2009).
It is of importance for a manager or administrator to accept it as a duty to form a culturally diverse workforce that represents the demographic of the region that they will serve. When providing training for various health care practitioners, it is necessary to include training in different cultures and the beliefs they hold concerning health care delivery. During the recruitment for study, the exercise should be fair and include people representing all the existing cultures of the world. Many people experience difficulties in relation to the colleagues in their places of work, some complain of being discriminated against based on their gender, skin color and their ethnic communities. These problems can be brought to an end by ensuring a mixture of the workforce (Abdelhak, Grostick, & Hanken, 2015).
The success in health care system can be widely attributed to the diversity in its workforce. This has attracted patients from different walks of life and has enabled achievement of its objective and managing many health conditions, thus saving many lives. Including the minorities, such as women and the disabled, has increased patients’ confidence and has given them the hope they need to have while battling their health problems. Their female patients who would prefer to be attended to by their female counterparts when the woman workforce is adequate, these patients will be able to get the service they require to solve their health problems (Ku, Frogner, Steinmetz, & Pittman, 2015).
The healthcare workforce can be diverse, but the relationship between the providers is important. If they have a good and healthy relationship with each other, they will be able to reason together when faced with a health challenge. Therefore, they will be able to find a better solution to the various health problems. Research has proved that the hospitals that have a diverse workforce are preferred for most patients, and the services they make available are of first-class quality. One of the ways of strengthening a diverse workforce is by putting the following considerations: recruiting targets racial/ethnic minorities, the employee communications and involving award programs that acknowledge the diversity of their workforce. Training programs should be developed to train all the employees about patient’s diversity. Multicultural trainings should be given to the new recruits. The core services provided should reflect the differences between the patients who seek medication in these health facilities. The patient care should include complementary and alternative treatment. To expand the leadership diversity, the board should discuss and create policies that promote diversity. All health systems should match the workforce to the patient population. They should include women in the workforce and make provisions for the physically challenged staff. Consequently, they will have reflected the state's intention to have a diverse workforce in its all departments.