In this lesson you will have the chance to assess where your organization is, and where it needs to be in order to successfully hire and integrate IEHPs.
Even with all of the clear advantages that hiring IEHPs offers, conducting an initial assessment can be illuminating. It is worth your while to take some time and answer the following questions, and even better if you get your team—or your HR people—involved too.
These assessment questions are taken from the Human Resources Council for the Nonprofit Sector1:
What communities do we serve? Who are our clients?
What are the characteristics of the community we work in?
How has the community changed in recent years? How is it likely to change in the future?
How do our organization’s employees mirror and represent the community we work in and work with?
Do we reflect the diversity of Canadian society more broadly?
Where are there diversity gaps in our team—how can we increase diversity while filling these gaps?
What are some of our weaknesses? Do they have to do with staffing needs, communication, our workplace environment, feedback?
What are our main concerns when it comes to welcoming IEHPs to the team?
How do we nurture inclusion to ensure that all employees work in a safe and supportive environment? If any team members feel unsure about implementing an inclusive approach in our workplace, how can we include them in the process in order to overcome hesitation?
The Human Resources Council for the Nonprofit Sector has found that the “responses to these questions can trigger important discussions and help organizations identify areas where more attention is needed.”2 It is useful to keep in mind that any change takes time, for you, for your team, and for new IEHP team members: “Being aware of the stages we go through in order to develop cultural competence helps us be patient with ourselves and others.”3
*For a printable version of these questions click here.
Moving Forward: Putting Plans in Place For Your Whole Team
Putting diversity and inclusion training in place for all new employees will mean that once things are in place, very little additional work will need to be done to welcome new IEHPs to your team.
Open Communication/Diversity and Integration
Make sure that your HR people—whoever is involved in recruiting and hiring new employees—are trained to mine resumes for hidden potential, and conduct culturally-aware interviews. To get started you can direct them to Course 5.1: Open Communication and Course 7: Diversity and Integration.
A tool such as RACI (Responsible, Approve, Consult, Inform), created by Mike Jacka and Paulette Keller, is helpful for managing meetings, projects, and day-to-day interactions. RACI improves the quality of team communication, clarifying roles and tasks in a way that can help reduce cultural misunderstandings. When everyone on your team knows who is Responsible for various tasks, who needs to Approve what is being done, who needs to Consult together, and who needs to be Informed about progress and completion, it helps them to feel secure in the process. For an outline of this tool click here.4
Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing
Bruce Tuckman’s four-stage team development model—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing—can help you and your team understand that issues inevitably arise and have to be worked through. Embracing this process means that a team comes out stronger on the other side. Having an increased awareness of cultural differences and possible challenges will help your team be better able to go through this process. For an outline of this model click here.5
Good Business Sense: General Issues
Building diversity and inclusion into your team’s DNA will make it a team people want to stay a part of. Being better able to retain your IEHPs will be a happy side-effect of this.
Open communication is of vital importance: your existing team and new IEHP team members need to feel that they can come with their concerns and issues, without facing negative consequences. If this is an area of need for you and your team, Course 5.1 explores the topic of Open Communication in more detail. Course 5.2 will help you in Developing an Inclusive Writing Style.
Some matters of concern are covered by law. Issues such as bullying and harassment are legal issues, and there are mechanisms for reporting and dealing with them. Course 6.2 is a A Primer on Employment Law for Employers, examining the legislation that governs working life in Ontario.
If you want to work on avoiding all such problems before they happen, Course 6.1 looks at Creating a Positive Work Environment. More detail is provided in Course 7, Diversity and Integration; Course 8, Working in Teams; and Course 9, Workforce Health.
If you or your team need reassurance about the qualifications of Ontario-certified IEHPs, Course 3 is an introduction to International Academic and Professional Credentials, and Course 4 takes a look at Professional Regulatory Bodies.
All of this starts with the cultural competence journey, and Course 2, The Integration Journey, examines that journey in detail.
1HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector: http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/diversity-foundation.cfm, adapted
2HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector: http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/diversity-foundation.cfm
3Laroche and Yang, p.261
4Jacka, Mike and Paulette Keller: Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2009.
5Bruce Tuckman: “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” Psychological Bulletin 63, no. 6 (1965): 384-99.