Encompass Health has a longstanding commitment to building an inclusive work environment where all employees feel respected, accepted and empowered.

Earlier this year, I committed to advancing diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace by signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge. By signing this, we have pledged to continue cultivating a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are valued. We have come a long way over the years in the areas of inclusion and diversity as a Company, but there is still more work to be done. 

As an initiative of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, Encompass Health acknowledged Global Diversity Awareness Month this October by encouraging a time of understanding with our teams. We know the ability to understand others stems from empathy, and our employees demonstrate empathy every day as part of their commitment to The Encompass Health Way, our set of shared values. 

What does empathy in action look like?

Encompass Health employees recently had the opportunity to share their personal definition of empathy. The answers received were inspiring and seemed to share a common theme: the power of listening. Below, I’d like to highlight some examples of how employees in each of our business segments answered the question, “How do you show empathy to others?” 

“It’s choosing to believe someone else’s experience is true, even if it’s not your own experience.” — Christan Barnett, regional sales director, Encompass Health Home Health, Bluffton, South Carolina 

“Sometimes the best way to show empathy is to just listen. You may not agree with what they say or even understand what they are experiencing, but just being able to let someone express themselves can make all the difference.” — Laela Davis, receptionist, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Abilene, Texas

“Treat everyone’s opinion and time with the same importance you give your own. Listen to others while giving them the undivided attention that you would want in return.” — Oliver Webber, therapy team lead, Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health, Little River, South Carolina 

“Everyone has experienced pain, anger, frustration and sadness. We don’t have to understand the circumstances to understand the resulting emotions. Showing genuine interest and offering emotional support have always proved the most impactful for me when I’m showing empathy.” — Jessica Hill, branch director, Encompass Health Home Health, Clanton, AL

The march toward better understanding

Showing empathy and understanding is an integral part of the way we operate at Encompass Health, and I’m incredibly proud of how our teams demonstrate this core value.

With a mission to ensure every patient we serve and every professional we employ feels understood, heard and inspired to lead with empathy themselves, there is no time like the present to push forward toward better understanding of our patients, colleagues and communities.

I look forward to seeing how our shared values and commitment to inclusion and diversity guide our company’s path in 2021 and beyond.

Mark Tarr is President and Chief Executive Officer for Encompass Health. 

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