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DEI training linked to better staff competence, work culture in healthcare



In healthcare organizations with diversity, equity and inclusion training, 35% of workers saw an improvement in workplace culture during the past year, according to the 2023 State of Healthcare Training and Staff Development Report by Relias, a healthcare talent and training company company.

In addition, managers noted the most beneficial aspects of staff education included increasing staff competencies (46%), ensuring compliance (42%) and improving staff performance outcomes (39%). 

“It’s not surprising to see leaders’ concerns about competency, care quality and staff retention rise to the top in our healthcare survey,” Vince Baiera, partner for post-acute care solutions at Relias, said in a statement.

“The vital call to action is to open more dialogue between leaders and staff to find solutions that fit their organization and using technology to create efficiencies when doing so,” he said. 

In a survey of more than 3,900 leaders and workers in healthcare and human services, all respondents indicated that “increasing staff competencies” remains the biggest motivator for their learning and development programs. However, only 8% of leaders said they measure the connection between training and cost savings. L&D teams can use this type of data to demonstrate the effects of training on engagement, retention and culture to boost buy-in of senior leadership during budget discussions, according to the report.

Looking ahead, the demand for training continues to increase. While managers want to improve staff competencies, care quality and employee retention, workers want more continuing education and professional development options. Companies that satisfy both needs will likely see the greatest gains, the report indicated. 

In addition, among staff who received DEI training, workers said they valued an inclusive and supportive culture. 

“Cultivating a culture of learning and focusing on respectful dialogue can create a cycle of growth and retention that benefits all staff and leads to persistent and noticeable improvements,” Rola Aamar, partner for behavioral health solutions at Relias, said in a statement.

In fact, creating a culture of learning appears to be crucial for hiring and retention, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania. Engaged learners are more likely to participate in internal mobility programs and remain at the company for longer.

A focus on training can also help new managers who feel unprepared to lead, according to an Info-Tech Research Group report. L&D opportunities can help managers build better habits, apply new skills and improve overall performance. 

Beyond that, extending L&D opportunities to everyone on staff can create better employee engagement, enjoyment and satisfaction, according to a CYPHER Learning survey. In particular, providing high-quality, “executive-style” training at all staff levels prompted the best outcomes and engagement.

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