Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Challenge of Diversity

by Sandra Crockett

One of the things that landed LifeBridge Health on Fortune Magazine's 2010 list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" list is something that could have divided us. It is our diversity.

LifeBridge Health understands that diversity is a good thing. Instead of dividing us, we like to celebrate it. A diverse workforce means different viewpoints are brought to the table. And different viewpoints can make for a stronger workplace.

So it was gratifying for members of LifeBridge’s Diversity Council, of which I am one, to see the results of the LBH Diversity Survey. The purpose of this survey, which was distributed last October, was to establish benchmarks of where we are now. It was also to observe how LBH employees view diversity.

The results were pretty encouraging although, to be sure, there is still work to be done. There were 7,000 surveys distributed and 1,507 employees responded. Yes, we would have liked even more respondents.
Highlights of the survey included
  • 63 percent – 75 percent of respondents agreed LBH leadership is committed to diversity, inclusion, and holding themselves accountable for progress with diversity.
  • 63 percent - 78 percent believe they are treated respectfully by staff around the LBH entities.
  • 68 percent of respondents agreed that hiring and promotion decisions are based on objective criterion.
  • 20 percent felt that only “sometimes” promotion decisions are made based on objective data.

Cross tabulation analysis of the respective questions yielded no significant differences by race, age, or gender.

The next step for the Diversity Council (besides sharing the survey results to all of LBH) is to conduct focus groups to follow-up on certain questions where further understanding is needed.

And, yes, we will look into the needs of those who did not respond and the needs of those who responded unfavorably. Overall, the LBH staff deserves a “congratulations” for being committed to diversity.

To learn more about working for LifeBridge Health, click here.

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