A work environment that prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) holds many important benefits for you, your staff, and your patients. Biases can unintentionally influence hiring practices and other staffing-related processes, so it’s important to proactively engage in EDI best practices to help avoid negative outcomes in the future.
A diverse workplace allows for a broader range of skills, experiences, and perspectives among employees which fosters a culture of innovation, creativity, and camaraderie. Ensuring your staff feel personally supported and empowered in their job can lead to higher employee satisfaction and improved productivity. For patients, seeing greater diversity and experiencing better cultural awareness can benefit their overall care.
Consider these aspects as your clinic embarks on their EDI journey.
- Diversity factors
Though it may seem difficult to ensure diversity if you only have a few employees, consider a variety of factors, including age, sexual orientation, family status, language differences, disability status, and location, as well as race and gender.
Leadership that prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion sets the expectation and tone of the workplace culture for your team and potential employees.
- The hiring process
When writing job descriptions, use inclusive language to ensure the role isn’t excluding any potential candidates. For example, using gender-neutral language for inclusive benefits (ex. parental leave, support for people with disabilities), emphasizing the clinic's commitment to EDI, and placing the focus on actual skills and competencies can all reinforce your commitment to EDI to prospective employees. Use an EDI-based approach for the interview process by using standardized interviews to reduce unconscious bias.
Review tips for incorporating EDI best practices in your hiring process from Business Pathways’ HR Toolkit.
- Religious and cultural practices
Consider offering flexible holidays to accommodate different religious beliefs and celebrating holidays that support a diverse environment. Celebrations don’t have to be elaborate; they can be simple and educational. Surveying your employees to hear how they like to celebrate is a great place to start.
- Employee resource group
Employee resource groups support inclusive environments for employees to voice their concerns and opinions on EDI topics in a safe place. For smaller workplaces, consider alternative methods to support employees such as holding quarterly meetings to plan events and discuss issues as a team.
Looking for educational courses, resources, reading materials, and more? Doctors of BC has compiled a list to help you find valuable EDI resources.