Whether it’s around the dinner table with family or on a conference call with coworkers, there has been lot of discussion about race in recent weeks.

While it’s imperative that we continue that open dialogue, we also need action to address those social injustices that exist in our communities as well as our workplaces

At Encompass Health, we have been working to do just that through our Inclusion & Diversity program. We started our program in 2008 with the formation of our diversity council. While often programs such as these start strong, only to fizzle out, ours has remained active throughout the years. 

It started at the corporate level and has now expanded to committees in our hospitals and home health and hospice segment. 

And no, those committees aren’t all talk. They are taking action to meet the needs of their employees and patients. To ensure that, we added questions related to inclusion and diversity to our annual employee engagement survey to inform our local committees of the areas of concern specific to their employees.

The communities we serve are different; we want our committees and their work to reflect those differences. We also want our company I&D Council there to provide them the support they need to be successful.

Biannually, employees take a mandatory diversity training. In 2017 the “Unconscious Bias and You” drew attention to stereotypes and prejudices we all have but are unaware of. In 2019, “Success Through Inclusion” provided valuable insight into how having an inclusive workplace can make a dramatic difference in how successful our employees, patients and overall Company objectives can be.

Soon, we will also roll out a leadership toolkit to assist our hospitals in addressing social unrest and how they can sustain their efforts to create a workplace environment of acceptance and inclusion. 

We know inclusion and diversity can’t be all talk and no action; it’s not a one and done movement, either.

Inclusion and diversity needs addressing now and every day in our workplaces. At Encompass Health, I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken, but we know there is more work to do. We will continue to have an open dialogue and candid discussions about race, and we’ll couple that with action to make the changes needed to cultivate a workplace that is appreciative and accepting of unique perspectives.

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