Everyone needs allies
In their personal life, along their career path, and in the workplace. More than a friend or mentor, an ally is someone who’s committed to finding common ground with coworkers, speaking out or taking action when discrimination occurs, and supporting, advocating for, and championing others. An organization that fosters allyship can make significant strides toward achieving a diverse and inclusive culture where people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, creeds, and sexual orientations can feel truly welcome and valued for their contributions. Unfortunately, not every workplace provides formal allyship training.
Here’s the good news:
You don’t have to sit back and wait for your company to teach you how to practice allyship. Especially during current times of staff shortages. Changes within the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) in 2023. What’s more, practicing allyship isn’t reserved for administration or HR directors. Managers, team members, and individual contributors at every level can develop the skills and, most importantly, the awareness to become an ally to all kinds of people at work and, in turn, an asset to the entire organization.
But if you wish to become an ally in the workplace,
Where do you start? First and foremost, you need to educate yourself to better understand how processes and procedures work with our industry. The Patient Driven Payment Model, originally implemented in 2019 for Medicare Part A payment systems has now made its way into the state Medicaid system. Understanding this model of payment is critical for all SNF Clinicians.
One way to find common ground is through language.
The language we use can unite us or divide us. To become an ally, make a conscious effort to change any divisive language. Avoid the use of the words “all/them/they” when referring to certain groups of people. Instead, think in terms of “some” and “we.” By using the word “some,” you’ll break down stereotypes. And when you use “we,” you emphasize a sense of shared purpose and also make yourself accountable for the results or consequences.
Changing how you think and speak about coworkers across the spectrum of individual differences is at the foundation of allyship.
With so many changes within our industry, creating a Allyship within our teams should provide beneficial.
But allies must also be prepared to back their thoughts and words with action.
Here are three key strategies for becoming a vigilant, committed ally in the workplace:
1. Assess the situation. If you witness something that appears to violate principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, ask yourself:
• What do I see?
• What can I identify as fair vs. unfair?
• Is there an opportunity for development?
• Are other clinicians in need of education?
• What is the potential impact of organizational policies?
2. Evaluate your position. Take some time to seriously consider:
• How can I influence this situation?
• What is my perspective?
• What’s the position of the person I wish to support?
• Who can I talk to about this?
3. Act . Once you’re clear on the situation and your position, it’s time for action. But before you forge ahead, stop, think, and determine:
• What actions can I take?
• What actions should I avoid?
• When is the most appropriate time to act?
• Who will be affected by my actions and how?
Being an ally isn’t always easy.
There’s much to learn—and unlearn—and you’re bound to make mistakes. Yet, with the right knowledge, a genuine commitment, heightened awareness, and, last but not least, practice, you can excel at allyship to help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace for the benefit of everyone.