Ep.2: The Truth About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—And What Agencies Should Be Doing Differently
Josie and Ron Ross of Avant HR Solutions share how the home-based care industry can truly invest in DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) initiatives, and some of the most important first steps agency owners can take.
Linda Leekley: (00:08)
Hello and welcome to Vision The Care Leaders podcast. I’m Linda Leekley, and it is my honor to serve as the Chief Clinical Officer here at Home Care Pulse.
Amanda Sternklar: (00:19)
Hi, I’m Amanda Sternklar. I’m the Director of marketing here at HCP.
Linda Leekley: (00:21)
We are in for a treat today. Joining us are Josie and Ron Ross Avant HR Solutions. Josie and Ron, thank you so much for spending this time with us this afternoon. I know we’re gonna have so much wisdom and, and insights, uh, that you’re gonna share with our audiences. Um, so welcome.
Ron Ross: (00:41)
Thank you. We appreciate you having us.
Josie Ross: (00:44)
Really excited to be here.
Amanda Sternklar: (00:46)
Awesome. And, and we’re so excited to have you. Before we, we jump in, can you tell us a little bit more about your backgrounds and what led you to creating Avant HR Solutions?
Ron Ross: (00:55)
Sure. I’ll get us started. Uh, Josie, maybe do this short. So 23 years of, uh, training. It used to be called, you know, talent development, facilitating coaching and consulting. Did that inside different organizations. Um, it’s something that I felt lucky to find a passion for. As a young man. I had to work hard to figure that out. And I think the thing that really ship the things for me is when in 2009, I had the opportunity to join a Home Care national home care agency. First as a consultant. Then I was hired. They were at a pivot point in terms of trying to turn their, uh, policies into training for all employees to make sure it got, bringing the culture. And for me, it was like a perfect marriage because I always had passion about what I did. I found an industry and company that also had passion. People were super compassionate, nice, smart, business driven. And I’m like, Okay, how can I help this organization really move forward? And, um, that’s what I’ve been doing. Was there for five years. 2015 left, started my own company. Um, and just about a year and a couple of months ago, Josie and I decided we wanted to join close, uh, forces together. And I’ll let her tell the origin story. So I think she does it a little bit better than me. So
Josie Ross: (02:19)
Thanks for that. Um, yeah, we threw caution to the wind, decided to embark on a journey together. Um, but my background a little bit different than Ron’s. My background is in home care. I started in home care. I started as a scheduler, almost 20, no, a little over 20 years ago now. I started as a scheduler for, um, one of the big home care companies. And loved the work and loved the people. I spent most of my time in home care as a multi-site leader. So, uh, oversaw several different locations. I was in operations and my leadership journey as I, uh, learned how hard it was to lead, I don’t, I must have had some really good leaders. Cause I had no idea how hard it was until I was sitting in this seat. It is such a hard job. Um, but one of my passions started to develop as a result of that journey, um, for creating really good work environments for people.
Josie Ross: (03:11)
Home care employees specifically work so hard. They give their whole hearts. It’s a very emotional job. It’s a very draining job. And whether you’re in the field providing direct care or you’re in the office, it’s just a really taxing environment to work in, but a super rewarding one. And so I wanted to create spaces where people could show up and do that work, be their biggest and best selves, and feel really valued in that work. When Ron and I met, we met through home care. So home care was a part of our journey. Uh, we realized we had a lot of the same passions. We commented it very different. Uh, we’re gonna talk a lot about diversity today, and Ron and I could not be more opposite both in how we present ourselves to the world, but also how we operate and how we think.
Josie Ross: (03:55)
Um, but so we joined forces. We decided, you know, let’s throw caution to the win. Let’s do this thing. We’re really passionate about in creating, uh, great work environments for people. And we created avan, uh, HR solutions, uh, to do just that. Uh, we’re married and we work together. And so it’s been such a fun journey, uh, of vat. HR Solutions does three things. So we have three sort of service lines. We do leadership development where we help leaders navigate organizations and really, uh, show up as their biggest and best selves in their leadership roles. And we do team dynamics work. So we help teams do, uh, perform at peak and sort of resolve dynamic issues. And we, uh, do HR consulting, functional HR consulting. And we do that mainly along the lines of wanting to help organizations align culture and, uh, practice. So they’re sort of practicing what they preach.
Josie Ross: (04:52)
We help them do that, and it’s been so much fun. And the last two years, you know, the pandemic has changed the way we work, the way we live. And so it’s a fun time to be in this field because people are integrating with their work in very different, in new ways. And so it’s been a lot of fun. And that’s sort of our, our story. It’s a, it’s a great story. Thank you for sharing. Um, and again, we’re, we’re thrilled to have you here sharing your wisdom. Um, you know, part of that, as you mentioned, creating the, the optimal cultures and work environments. Um, DEI is a part of that, and it’s, uh, you know, it’s a buzz, an AC acronym right? These days, but it’s a broad topic. So, so can you break down what that means, especially for providers and agency owners?
Ron Ross: (05:39)
Yeah. Um, just, I think you were gonna start
Josie Ross: (05:42)
With that. Yeah. I’ll start, I’ll kick it off and then Ron can get into the specifics. I think the broad umbrella of d and i, as you said, it’s very much a buzzword these days, and you’ll hear it as D and I D E I D E I B. Um, but basically what it means is diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and it’s really the art of recognizing that we’re all diverse. And what that means is that we’re all starting in different positions. And then as an organization, the responsibility for creating an environment where people feel empowered, where they feel like they can bring their biggest sort of best, most authentic self work, and then leveling the playing field. So everybody has equal opportunity. Um, and that’s like high level what it means. Mm-hmm. , but for home care, it means something very specific. And Ron’s gonna get into that.
Ron Ross: (06:27)
Yeah. I, I, when I thought about this, uh, home care is diverse by the way it’s set up when you think about who the consumers are, who the patients, clients being taken care, they fall in a certain demographic. And then the providers, particularly in private pay, personal care, you may have anywhere from 50 to 60% that are non-white Latino, black Asian. So you already have this diverse cultural thing that’s happening with who’s being cared for, who’s taking care of folks. And then when you add the folks that are coordinating care who owns it, it is this kaleidoscope of people who are trying to solve, how do we take better care of people at home? So I think that’s the strength. Um, I think where the opportunity is, is how do you leverage that diversity in a way where it’s not a lot of friction, Um, it’s a strength. And we happen to know that organizations that really find a way to do that, they really outperform. We’ll get into that more when we talk about what the benefit is.
Josie Ross: (07:31)
Yeah. You know, I hear from healthcare administrators, um, you know, it is a buzzword. It’s just a nice to have, uh, rather than something that’s really integral to their business. So why do you feel it’s so important for providers to include DNI in their planning?
Ron Ross: (07:51)
Yeah, I’ll just say from, uh, the, the real big, big perspective, and I think Jos will get a little bit more granular, is we absolutely know it makes a difference and we’ll, we’ll talk about some statistics. Um, we also believe it’s the right thing to do. Um, if you’re in business of caring for people in their homes, you have to care for the employees that actually work for you. You have to make the environment for them feel like they long, that it’s inclusive, uh, as well. From a business perspective, I would imagine a lot of your listeners want to have a greater market share, um, want to grow their revenue and senses. One of the ways to do that is you have to attract the right talent. And we believe that folks who actually create this culture, DNI is a part of it. You know, having great leadership, uh, paying, uh, fairly are, are part of the cultural norms that we’re talking about. You become an attractive force because reality is home care agencies, there’s not a lot of differentiation. You can only pay so much based on how much your bill rates are. So the thing that’s gonna differentiate you is really those cultural things such as dni. And we believe it needs to be really embedded in Bake then to really do it well.
Josie Ross: (09:06)
Yeah. I’ll just add that, you know, because it’s such a buzzword and, you know, post George Floyd, there was this big push for the country and companies to start putting this as a spotlight. I think employees now expect it that the organizations they work for have, uh, some sort of DNI component. And so I also know that employees want an authentic DNI component. And what happens is a lot of organizations with the best of intentions make it a separate initiative or a separate work stream, something off the side. It’s like, we’re gonna do all this stuff. Oh, yeah. And d and I, and what we encourage organizations to do is, when you look at your strategy for the year, instead of making d and i, this other swim lane that you focus on to just weave it into all your other initiatives, it becomes an organic part of sort of how you evolve your organization rather than this bolt on thing or this badge you wear. Um, but it’s more seamless because organ, because employees instinctively know if it’s authentic or not. They know if it’s just something you say or if it’s something you say and you do so and they’re looking for, that
Amanda Sternklar: (10:15)
Makes a lot of sense. And I, I like what you point out here that, that your employees can tell, um, because I think that’s a common problem where, um, not specifically in home care, but in, in the, the workforce in general. Um, there’ll be a program that’s supposed to solve the problem without really any follow up or without it feeling really baked into the organization. Um, so I love that way of thinking of it as something that kind of stretches throughout everything that you’re doing. Um, Ron, I know you alluded to this a little bit before, what benefits can agencies see from successfully fully integrating dei?
Ron Ross: (10:57)
Yeah, I, I think you can be, you’ll win the race for talent. You know, if you think about there are too few caregivers, whether you’re talking about, you know, skilled nursing, uh, whether you’re talking about personal care providers, there’s not enough. Uh, and you can only pay so much. So one of the ways we think diversity, equity inclusion can be an an advantage is if you create sort of an environment where you’re attracting, um, and you are winning the race from a culture perspective, it’s a, a critical advantage. We also know that companies that are diverse, whether you’re talking about racial diversity, whether you’re talking about gender diversity, those teams, those organizations, they outperform in terms of innovation, in terms of market share. So there’s a business case, um, both on the, uh, talent attraction perspective and also in a lot of metrics that I would imagine a lot of your listeners, uh, care about.
Josie Ross: (11:54)
Yeah, absolutely. I don’t have much more to add except that, um, to hit home the innovation piece of it, you know, Home Care naturally is, um, an environment where a lot of problems have to be solved, and you’re better at solving problems when you have a mi more diverse team. And, you know, I think home care specifically benefits from its diversity and it’s already diverse, as around said. So if you just learned to harvest the diversity that already exists across its employee base, it could be, uh, you know, a powerhouse for solving some of the meaty challenges that face the org, the organizations,
Josie Ross: (12:33)
Uh, I like that term of harvesting in the diversity. Um, so, so what’s the risk if an organization fails to do that, fails to harvest the diversity? Yeah. Uh, that’s a great question. I think the big risk, um, I’m gonna throw some statistics out here. I think the big risk is you’re just missing the boat. I think, um, you know, in 2021, the LA Times put out a report saying that post George Floyd, 83% of organizations across the country had committed to doing some of this is self-reported, but had committed to doing some kind of d e and I program, um, was only 63% in healthcare and only 35% in home care. And it makes sense. So, I mean, it totally makes sense because while, um, you know, the country was trying to survive a pandemic, these organizations had to focus all of their resources, all of their time, all of their attention on keeping people alive. It was a crisis situation. And so not having the resources, or time or energy to put towards DNI makes total sense. But as we’re starting to crest from the crisis of the pandemic, like the critical stage of the pandemic, and we’re starting to see it sort of slope down, uh, we encourage, Ron and I encourage organizations to start to put some of those resources towards DNI because employees expect it. They wanna see the organizations they work for have them and healthcare’s already behind. So it has some ground to make up compared to other organizations.
Ron Ross: (14:05)
Yeah, and I just add, I think it will allow agencies who invest now to win that race for talent, uh, to win that race for market share, because I believe it’s going to be, as the research bears out, it’s going to be a competitive advantage. And I think those agencies that fall way behind, uh, are gonna be kicking themselves. And, and as we said, it really is about people. So the one thing that I love about Home Care, it’s about providing good care at home, at affordable rate. And I think if anyone should do it, I, I’m, I’m a fan and rooting for home care to really kind of take the lead catch up and take the lead. Uh, so that’s just my personal plug, uh, being around this industry for the last 12 years.
Amanda Sternklar: (14:53)
I think that, um, I feel like there’s more, there’s a lot of opportunity because like you mentioned, home care is already diverse, um, which I think is not an advantage that, uh, quite a few other industries have. Um, that being said, what, how can you tell if your program is one of those successful ones rather than, you know, just that kind of add on?
Ron Ross: (15:21)
Yeah, I’ll start, and you’ll notice the theme. I, I give the high level. So, and Joie does the hard work of doing the details , but it works for me and I think it works hard. So, uh, it feedback, um, whatever your flag that you plan, whether it is, here’s what we’re gonna do in the next year, here’s what we’re gonna do over the next five years, ask for feedback from your constituents about how you’re doing. Um, and one of the best ways you can get feedback is if you have an employee satisfaction survey. No, make a question in about that. If you don’t have one, we suggest, uh, you use one. Um, and if you don’t want to in invest in doing something like that, at least ask some questions periodically, uh, to get a pulse, uh, of where sort of your employees are feeling about the initiatives. Are you hitting your milestones? What are they feeling about it? I think that’s the first way that you can start to measure it.
Josie Ross: (16:21)
Yeah, I think aside from feedback, feedback being the most important, there are some hard metrics you wanna measure as an organization. Um, and we suggest you start from the gate. So candidates is where sort of the magic happens in diversity, equity, inclusion, because if you’re not getting a diverse candidates through the door, then the rest of your initiatives are really doesn’t matter because you’re not getting a diverse pool through the door. Um, so start measuring the diversity of your candidates all the way through your hiring process. Then we suggest you, you measure all of your talent management and your promotions all the way up into the Sweet C-Suite so you know what you, what your employee pool looks like. Each step of the, the process we also suggest, like table stakes, is to know the demographics of your employees. And I know it’s sometimes the i s or the, you know, the HR information systems people are working in don’t have that information readily available.
Josie Ross: (17:20)
But one of the biggest things is just table stakes. Know the demographics of the people working for you and your clients as well. Um, super important. I think another important, uh, metric is you pay equity. So understand what are you paying your demographics and what does the pay equity look like so that you’re addressing gaps there. I think those are the big ones, but there are a lot of, there’s a lot of data you can dig into, but that’s the, that’s the big stuff. Yeah. So you kind of gave us some metrics, uh, to measure, and that’s really great. Um, but you know, you know, you said it earlier when you, uh, introduced yourself, Josie, that agency owners are so busy and they’re, you know, often having, having to cover shifts themselves. Uh, so how do they start making inroads on this when they feel sort of overwhelmed by the idea, uh, you know, that there’s, there’s just no time. Why is it important to start now? I think we’ve kind of covered that, but what can they really do when they have like no room in their schedule?
Ron Ross: (18:21)
It’s a great question. You know, what are the things for the low price of 1999? They can, they can go through the Avant agency owner duplicator, and you come out just as smart and both of you can work. Uh, it is not like the movie duplicity or multiplicity back in the day where they lost intelligence. We, we know that doesn’t really exist, right? Uh, we
Josie Ross: (18:43)
Wish, we wish it
Ron Ross: (18:44)
Didn’t want to be, have a clone that can do work for us. But the reality is, it, it’s hard work. We know it’s 24 hours seventies a week. Weekends are particularly tough. Uh, night shifts are particularly tough. So, um, I think the thing we, we, we say is incremental small steps is where, um, the as action is. So one of the things that Josie didn’t say in her introduction, not only did she run, uh, operations in home care, I think one of the things that made her successful, she built a 60 million book of business. Um, and it was not just because she was all process or what she is, but a lot had to do with she invested in herself, she invested in her team. And I think that’s real. Really what we’re talking about is find a small way to invest in yourself, to invest in, uh, this, this idea of de and i.
Ron Ross: (19:38)
And if you can’t start anywhere, what we recommend is small step. First incremental step is start with yourself, Um, educate yourself. And, and we know the good folks here on Home Care Pulse had education sessions that are offered, I would say some other fundamental courses, really, um, you know, working across different, uh, cultures. I would say that understanding bias, uh, is an overcoming, it is a good one. Um, I heard a really successful home care operator, um, say this, you know, was given a, uh, given a talk to some of his, uh, leaders, and I was facilitating this session. He said, The first conversation you need to have is really with yourself to be honest with yourself. And I would say that’s what I would ask, uh, you know, the agency owners to, to really think about is, if you are comfortable with having conversations about, uh, you know, bias, unconscious bias, and, you know, race and gender in everything that we say is on the quietest scope of diversity, equity, inclusion, then good.
Ron Ross: (20:49)
Start having the conversation. Start there. If you are uncomfortable, if you are afraid of skidding your knee, then, you know, take some of those courses that are being offered so you can start educating yourself, feeling a little bit more comfortable. You know, one of the, the best books that, you know, I’ve read and read recently, because I’m like, as a black man, it was interesting to realize I have privilege too. Uh, I have privilege as a male in understanding sort of what that means. It was called, you know, So you want to talk about race? And it was written in such a easy, you know, fact based way, and it gives really good tips on anybody who wants to have safe conversations about differences. So those are just some of the, I think, the easy things that you can do. But as we said before, Justin’s gonna give more of a detail, uh, about some other more heavy lifting that you can,
Josie Ross: (21:45)
Yeah, we have organizations who reach out to us all the time and say, Where do I start? Sort of, this is my resource, where do I start? And we usually tell them a couple of places they can start, and these aren’t in priority order, but, uh, depending on the resource the organization has, here are some things we recommend first form a committee. It could be two employees, it could be 10 employees. I think leaders have it in their mind that they have to do all the work around this. And what I think they’ll find is there are employees who are passionate about this, who work for them, either in the field or in their offices or wherever, who wanna be a part of this journey for the organization. So form a committee, allow them to form a committee. We do recommend two things when forming a committee that is really important.
Josie Ross: (22:29)
The first is do not ask your black and brown colleagues to be on the committee. Ask everyone to volunteer. If they volunteer, it’s okay that your black and brown colleagues are not responsible for educating you on diversity, equity, inclusion. Um, but to open up to everybody to volunteer. Second thing we recommend is hire a consultant for the first couple of meetings so that they can help them set a roadmap and agenda, sort of a charter for the committee over two years. They can sort of point them in a direction. Then the committee can be off. Um, you wanna bring some expertise in so that they know how to form a plan that sort of progressive and meets the company’s needs. The second thing we recommend, that’s number one, the committee. The second thing we recommend is monthly. If you can’t form a committee and you’ve got one hour a month, use that one hour a month to educate yourself in your organization.
Josie Ross: (23:20)
So hold lunch and learns panel discussions, Have a book club, do one thing a month that support some diversity, equity, inclusion topics. And, you know, we have a bunch of resources, ideas, other things we’ve done for organizations, um, around that. But it’s a really simple thing to do. Takes an hour a month, sort of gets the whole company talking about a specific topic. Then the third thing we recommend is, um, policy. Your handbook. Almost every agency has an employee handbook. Make sure your dress code policy is not gender specific, so does not call out binary genders. Make sure your holiday policy is inclusive of all holidays. We say, start with the handbook and start with those two, holiday, those two policies, because they are red flags for employees. So if I’m an employee, it’s my first day I read the handbook and I’m like, Oh, this says men can wear this and women can wear this.
Josie Ross: (24:18)
Well, I know where they stand on D and i or I may have an idea of where they stand on d and i. Um, so we think those are probably three good places for an organization to start. Doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or resources. Um, and we’ll get them headed in the right direction. Those are great ideas. So again, there’s the, the, uh, committee for those of you listening, the, um, one, one thing a month, book club or lunch and learn, and then the handbook. Um, if, uh, if an agency or an organization has luckily lots of resources, uh, at their fingertips, are there any other steps to take that you would recommend beyond that? Yeah, that’s a great question. And um, God bless them if they do have lots of , they’re in a good place. A couple of things we recommend, um, in no particular order, hire a DNI director, somebody where this is their, they have deep seated knowledge in this and sort of can guide the organization.
Josie Ross: (25:21)
It’s also a good sign to employees coming on board if you have a DNI director that you’re serious about it, cuz you’ve dedicated that kind of resource. Um, a virtual course session. So onboarding and then, you know, every couple of months, roll out an actual virtual course to your organization. Uh, usually takes a little bit of time and money if you really have the resources, create your own, with your own people, talking about the issues that impact them. It’s a really personal way to do it. Get instructional designer involved. Um, that’s if you have a lot of resources. Um, and then your i s system. So I know a lot of like small agencies still using things like QuickBooks, you know, and, but if you ha if you can afford an HR i s system that’ll really get down to the metrics involved in d and i and help support that, or an add-on program you can do, um, those are some bigger things that, that you can do as, as the bigger organizations or the organizations that have more resources. Anything you wanna add, Ron?
Ron Ross: (26:21)
Yeah, just to say, I think you said that earlier, just, it doesn’t have to be if you can’t afford a full-time person, That’s what consultancy is about, is someone that can come in, help you get started. Um, so not only us, there are a lot of, you know, really capable consultants that can help you think through, uh, help you get it started and get on your way. So we understand that resources vary based, based on where you are in your life cycle of your agency, how big you are. Um, so finding sort of that help, you know, based on sort of where you are, I think is really one of the keys.
Josie Ross: (26:56)
I if you were, um, consulting in an organization and they wanted to do some DNI training, do you suggest they start at the leadership level with the training and then take it down?
Ron Ross: (27:11)
Yeah, that’s, it’s a great question and I know that’s like a real softball. Thank you for that, Linda. I really appreciate that. The training soul. She, we absolutely believe the best training, um, best leadership is it, it has to start from the top. If it’s real, a real initiative, the tops of the organization really have to be out front, um, and really not only understand it, but be the first to talk about it, be the first that are trained. Um, so it, that’s really where cultural change really happens. Um, Josie, but I know you probably have a perspective that’s similar, but maybe, maybe a little different. So we’ll see.
Josie Ross: (27:54)
No, I agree. I was just gonna say, yeah. Um, it’s gotta start at the top. We’ve worked with organizations that have a committee in the top doesn’t get engaged. They think it’s part of like, the rest of the organization’s issue and it, it lands flat because the leadership has to be involved in the initiatives and it has to seem as important to the leadership as, you know, to the rest of the organization. And employees feel it when it’s not. Mm-hmm. Goes back to that genuine thing. Mm-hmm.
Ron Ross: (28:20)
. Yeah. Let’s see, another thing a little bit, we haven’t talked about this, We’ve talked about, um, training. We talked about hiring, but I also think one of the things that makes it feel real for folks is, is your level of communication around the things that are gonna be unavoidable, given sort of our divided sort of political system right now, given the fact that we never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow that’s really going to affect one of the populations of employees. Everything from same sex marriage to everything that’s happened. You need to be prepared to speak to your employees. Employees at this point don’t want work to be work and home to be home. They expect their leaders to speak on the issues that impact them. And I think those agency owners, leaders that are, you know, educated and they can communicate, I think they’re gonna, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna benefit from that. So if you don’t have that skill of like, Okay, I don’t know how to talk about it. I would say also hiring someone that’s really good that can help you shape messages around diversity, equity, inclusion. It can’t just keep communication, but, uh, we see the failure to speak at the leadership level causes a lot of ANGs at that ground level. Uh, and it just, it just ruins any good work that you’ve done, uh, through any d e and I efforts when you just become mom and issues that are important employees.
Linda Leekley: (29:46)
That’s, that’s a great point. Thank you for sharing that, Ron. Um, it made me think of something else, um, when after, as you mentioned Josie, after George Floyd and, and when this became a buzzword, we all probably received dozens of emails right from in our inbox from companies touting their policy. Right. Um, to me that didn’t always feel authentic. It was like a checkbox. They were, you know, taken care of. What is the proper way, if there is one to message to your community as, as say, a home care organization that this is important to you, that DNI is important to you, and that you have taken the time to educate yourself, to train your staff. Is there a way to message that to the community that’s, that’s appropriate and and authentic?
Ron Ross: (30:43)
Josie, how about you start?
Josie Ross: (30:46)
Yeah, I think there is a way. I think it’s just being transparent about what your efforts are, what you’re trying to accomplish, being really clear, and I would be clear with your clients too, it’s like, D and i is important, so this is what you can expect from us, or this is what we’re working towards is really important to message so that people understand that it is important to you and that you’re working on it. And then as things come up, like Ron said, things that happen, um, in the news or in the world, you add on. So we said, D and I was important. And so we’re messaging this today because we wanna remind you that this is why it’s important to us. Uh, it all connects and understanding that it all connects is really important.
Ron Ross: (31:27)
Yeah. And I would say be okay with not having the right words, um, because I think that’s authentic leadership, but at least, uh, enter the conversation, put your toe in the water. I think that will give you more credibility with the folks who are working for you, potential people who wanna work for you by saying, you know, I’m not sure what to say, but I know like, this is important and hey, if anyone needs to talk, um, I I’ll make myself available. I think that goes longer than, uh, a lot longer than having all the right words. Um, so just being unafraid to enter sort of difficult conversations. Um, and they’re gonna happen. Like, we’re not gonna be able to avoid it. And I think the leaders who are, are comfortable because they’ve had the conversations with themselves, they’ve educated themselves, right? Um, their efforts aren’t thin and tack on. They’re gonna be more capable of having these really robust conversations. Mm-hmm. and, and employees are gonna stay because it’s gonna feel real to them versus ah, this is just, you know, window dressing.
Josie Ross: (32:29)
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. That makes perfect sense to me. Yeah.
Amanda Sternklar: (32:34)
Jo, love what you said in particular about knowing, um, sorry I lost your phrasing, but basically knowing what you’re trying to do, um, being such an important part of that messaging, Like knowing, knowing why you’re including it and having it not just be because we’re supposed to, you know, knowing, uh, getting down to what you’re, what you’re really aiming for.
Josie Ross: (32:55)
Yeah. Instead of saying, uh, because everyone else is doing it right now, , it’s like, we committed to this long before and this is consistently how we show up. I also think organizations struggle, especially in the political arena. Cause they wanna take a political stance where they feel it might be polarizing to take a political stance. And so there’s this dance I think leaders are doing right now, but I think there’s a way of saying, we know this thing impacts our employees. We care about our employees, and we’re gonna create space for you to talk about it or feel however you feel about it, without saying they’re taking side politically or on a specific issue. There’s a way to create empathy and create safe spaces without, without picking sides. Well said. Very well said. Yeah. Empathy being one of those key, right? Yeah, for sure.
Amanda Sternklar: (33:46)
For folks who, uh, don’t have the resources to create their, uh, own DIA curriculum, I know that that’s something we, um, we offer here at HCP and have created a whole learning path. Can you tell me a little bit more about that and how we can have
Josie Ross: (34:01)
Yeah. Well, two things actually based on something that Ron and Joie said at hcp, we offer experience management, which includes monthly surveys of, of your staff, your caregivers. So, and that was something satisfaction surveys. So that was something that, you know, that Ron spoke about as being an important thing. But the other point that I’d like to mention for our audience, uh, like Amanda said, if you don’t have the resources to create your own, at least right now, um, we do have a series of courses that, uh, that are applicable to all learners, but especially key for administrative staff leaders and, uh, uh, office staff really, you know, as, as a, as a starting point. And, um, the courses, uh, there are seven courses. Um, they include foundational knowledge for, uh, D E I B, um, and a deeper dive into each issue. Um, there’s also a course on women as leaders and, uh, the obstacles they may face, um, in the workforce.
Josie Ross: (35:06)
Uh, there’s a course on unconscious bias, um, helping another one on helping coworkers be their true selves, um, and working with people from different cultures. And then, um, another, a course on advice for supporting lgbtq plus initiatives all year long, not just during Pride Month. Mm-hmm. . Um, and so, uh, you know, if you’re interested in learning more about that, feel free to, to reach out to us, um, here at hcp. Linda, did I see one on the generations too, like managing the different generations? I thought I saw one on, uh, it’s not part of this series, but you know, where it should be we do have, we do have information on that, so I’m gonna take I thought I saw that. Yeah. Yeah, very good point. Yes.
Amanda Sternklar: (35:54)
Yeah. And, um, Ron and Josie, um, if any of our listeners would like to learn more from you, um, or to reach out about your services, especially, uh, what’s the best way that they can reach you?
Josie Ross: (36:06)
You can reach, uh, me at [email protected], and you can reach [email protected] Um, and, uh, you can look us up on LinkedIn, we’re there as well. How else, Fran
Ron Ross: (36:23)
I think that’s the, the, the major way is, is, is email or, you know, jumping on, uh, you know, the website for sure. So although the name is hr, you know, so Avan HR Solutions, our website is, uh, avan, uh, teams. So just to that confusion of listeners or the detailed ones, like what, what’s that about ? So it’s just our address, but the company has h HR solutions on HR solutions
Josie Ross: (36:52)
That that’s great to know. And, and listeners, if you forget that, just reach out to us and we will put you in touch with, with Ron and Josie. So that’s, uh, another option if you, um, didn’t have a pen to, to write down.
Amanda Sternklar: (37:05)
Absolutely. Um, just a reminder, if you’re listening to this as a recorded podcast, you can be a part of Vision Live every other Tuesday at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard, and you can find the link to register at homecarepulse.com/podcast. Uh, if you’re a live listener, you can listen to the recording or any of our other recordings or past episodes, um, on your favorite podcast listening platform or on, uh, homecare pulse.com/podcast. And if you are someone you know has a story you’d like to share on vision, please reach out to us. Um, I’m easiest to reach on LinkedIn as Amanda Sternklar or [email protected] and Linda,
Linda Leekley: (37:42)
Yeah. And I would love to hear from anyone, uh, out there who, who has ideas for future requests for topics that you’d like us to cover in the podcast. I can also be reached via LinkedIn, uh, Linda Leekley or [email protected] Um, Ronna, Josie, any, any final words of wisdom or parting thoughts you wanna share with, with the audience?
Ron Ross: (38:07)
I’ll go first if it’s okay. Cuz Josie, that means you’ll get the last word, . So
Josie Ross: (38:11)
I like that. I don’t that
Amanda Sternklar: (38:13)
At all forward thinking. I
Josie Ross: (38:14)
Ron Ross: (38:15)
I, I would say, I, I say the version of this is we don’t want to come across as preachy. Um, we love the folks who endeavor to get into this work because we believe it’s honorable work, and we believe it is about caring for people. And a framing for me around, uh, Dei, uh, it’d be is around caring for the people you who work for you, um, caring for the clients that you are interacting with. Um, so that’s the framing. Um, we know you care and, and, and this is why, you know, such an important topic. And I’m just grateful, uh, for Amanda, Belinda and, uh, Home Care Pulse for inviting us to be on the podcast.
Josie Ross: (39:03)
I was gonna say the same thing, just thank you both for your time today and for inviting us to be on. This was so much fun. Thank you. Was it, Yeah, absolutely. Wonderful to have you, uh, help kick off the, the second show of our third year here. And, um, you know, thank you for all your wise advice, uh, to to home care administrators out there. So many takeaway action steps, which is important. So absolutely. We’ll be back in two weeks with our next episode. Thank you all again. Take care. And Jo.
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