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Addressing diversity is an important step of providing effective services by an organization. An organization should apply varied evaluation tools to achieve the high effectiveness of diversity programs. Besides, it is necessary to consider a range of factors while determining the ways of implementing an environment of diversity. Thus, an organization should observe government regulations, social pressures, industry and organization ethical codes, differences between personal standards and the organization’s goals. Only considering all the aspects would allow creating an organization free of disparities.
The process of measuring the effectiveness of diversity programs and policies is not easy. All the tools and measurements fall into three groups: quantitative, qualitative and mixed. Quantitative measurements include analyzing the representation of different groups, hiring practices, pay equity, promotion, turnover, and accessibility of diversity programs (Washington State Human Resources, n.d.). Measuring representation means analyzing the organization’s workforce profile. The numbers of the diversity of workforce on the organization’s profile should be on the same level as numbers of the general workforce diversity of the local area, state or country. Assessment of hiring practices includes determining if the new employees are the same demographic as the people that received interviews. Besides, the diversity program is effective if all the employees receive equal pay for equal work (Borkowski, 2009). In addition, the promotion rates should be similar for all the groups working in the organization (e.g. men and women, Whites and employees of other races). The same approach should also apply to people leaving the organization. The accessibility of diversity programs is also measured. Qualitative measurements include determining employee inclusion (based on the results of employee satisfaction surveys) and analyzing customer feedback about key diversity issues in the organization (Washington State Human Resources, n.d.).
Besides, there are approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative measurements; particularly the Organization Inclusion Assessment (OIA) uses archival, interview and survey evaluations. Gathering information includes assessing the organization’s documentation (e.g. policies and procedures), interviewing major personal informants, performing focus group interviews with people of varied backgrounds, and arranging the survey for the all the employees (DTUI.com, n.d.).
An organization should consider a range of factors when identifying the ways of the implementation an environment of diversity. First, it is necessary to observe government regulations. For example, in 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created an action plan for decreasing racial and ethical disparities. This action plan sets the vision that the U.S. is free of disparities in the healthcare system as well as offers a range of actions, strategies, and objectives to reach the vision (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012). The action plan is based on HHS initiatives, e.g. Healthy People Initiative. States, communities, private companies and healthcare specialist are involved in diminishing disparities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also addresses diversity. The Act focuses on providing health care for vulnerable populations. The ACA raises coverage for people with low and average income. The ACA also increases the access to health care, improves workforce diversity, enhances cultural competence, and sets a range of prevention measures (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012).
In addition, an organization should consider social pressures. Thus, patients could have different access to healthcare. Vulnerable populations are often unable to pay for medical insurance. They also could have difficulty getting a regular physician (Borkowski, 2009). The same issue occurs with a workforce. Some potential employees are simply not reached during hiring because, for example, they lack information about new positions.
An organization also needs to consider industry and company ethical codes while choosing the ways of implementing an environment of diversity. Thus, the approaches should correspond to the ethical codes. The creation of environment of diversity cannot not justify any violations of ethical norms. Following ethics must be a priority for an organization. For example, healthcare organizations are supposed to keep confidentiality in their relationships with patients (Borkowski, 2009). Therefore, healthcare providers cannot discuss the health issues of their clients with their colleagues even if it is necessary for reducing disparities.
Finally, personal standards could differ from the goals of the organization. Nevertheless, employees should be encouraged to follow corporate objectives. For example, some health providers follow ethnocentricity, so it is difficult for them to treat people with a different cultural background (Borkowski, 2009). They tend to make decisions based on the norms of their culture, which does not allow building trust with patients. For example, there was a case when a psychologist recommended an Afghani woman to start dating other men to deal with depression (Borkowski, 200). This recommendation shocked the patient, and she stopped visiting the health organization. Besides, Afro-American, Asian Americans, and Hispanics report that they have communication issues with physicians (Borkowski, 2009). The patients of these origins say that health professionals do not ask questions that they are supposed to ask. They believe that this is because of their race/ethnicity (Borkowski, 2009). Such behavior of the physician results from personal standards based on the idea that the Whites need more attention than minorities. However, this is against the organization’s goals about providing equal care to patients of different ethnicity and race.
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In conclusion, the effectiveness of diversity programs and policies can be measured through quantitative and qualitative tools as well as their combination. When the organization considers ways to implement an environment of diversity, it should take into account the initiatives of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Affordable Care Act, the impact of income on the access to health care and hiring, the priority of ethical codes over diversity, and the effects of personal standards.