2022 is a New Year dedicated to continuous learning and continuous improvement. Achieving better health and wellness is not ‘done’ within one month’s time. It’s ongoing. I recommend that you consider creating experiences that support a series of learning and growth throughout the year. Don’t limit learning to a month. Plan to do something especially impactful, meaningful, intentional, and innovative. How can you (and every employee) support Black Health & Wellness-–truly building knowledge, skills, and capability? Reimagine by expanding the opportunity to continue the theme to 2-3 times this year. Model real progress from awareness and practice that inspires action and growth. Healthy individuals and healthy organizations achieve even better results together. Let’s talk about recent history and envision how together we can continuously learn and improve.
For the past two years, the pandemic and racial inequity have been the defining factors since the summer of 2020. Following the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020, a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement brought hope to some by sparking what many civil rights advocates consider the most momentous national conversation on racial justice and equality since the 1960s. Some black people have felt anger that such a movement was needed more than 50 years after Civil Rights-era reforms.
Further underscoring health and socioeconomic inequalities, Black people have been contracting and dying from COVID-19 at a rate more than double that of the general population. Company leaders should realize that Black employees may be coming to work dealing with trauma, anger, and fear. Employees who are dealing with these emotions may be disengaged at work and unable to perform to their best ability.
It’s not enough for employers to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month with social media posts and tweets in 2022. To support Black employees, leaders must lead with trust, involve all employees in innovative learning opportunities, and connect with both the past and present. Here are three ways Inclusive Leaders Group can help you to build a more inclusive workplace, one that better supports Black employees.
3 Sessions For Learning YEAR ROUND – WHAT’S NEW: ILG – Black Health & Wellness
Virtual Session – Racism Foundations (60-minutes)
In this virtual session, the Inclusive Leaders Group Senior Consultant will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant. The Foundations name is designed to help employees at all levels internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity. The name Foundations is based on three observations: racial inequity looks the same across systems, the socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequity; and, inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior.
Embracing these truths helps leaders and employees confront the reality that all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy, on which the United States was built. In other words, we have a “foundational” problem, and we need proactive solutions. Starting from there, we begin to unlock transformative change.
Participants leave with a foundational understanding of racism providing a basis for developing allyship skills that create inclusive and belonging cultures.
Virtual Session: How to Support the Mental Wellness of Black Employees (60-minutes)
Black employees in the U.S. are exhausted. Over the past two years, their cognitive, emotional, and physical resources have been disproportionately depleted due to two deadly and intertwined pandemics: Covid-19 and structural racism. Black people are more likely to lose their jobs and be hospitalized or die from Covid-19, while still facing disproportionate threats of brutalization and death from policing compared to white people.
These conditions have added emotional strain for Black and brown employees, leading to increased instances of anxiety and depression. Half of Black employees said they have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, yet less than 5% have sought out care. Black employees feel silenced because of fear and stigma around discussing their mental health. One study found that 63% of Black people think poor mental health is a sign of weakness.
This virtual lunch-and-learn explains How Companies Can Support Black Employees’ Mental Health in 2022 and Beyond.
Virtual Session: Allyship Skills for Creating Belonging Cultures (60-minutes)
Diverse teams excel when they model mutual respect for each other and remain focused on the shared vision, mission, and values. We work together to continuously improve lives, we all play a part in shaping and living the culture of our organizations, and we are all called to make meaningful contributions with a lasting positive impact. This session is designed to assist participants in being active allies and advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Participants will learn how to be more active in advocacy, make a commitment to shaping the experiences of marginalized groups in the workplace, retain diverse talent, and create impactful contributions through a culture of belonging.
- Define allyship and its importance.
- Recognize who you can help in the workplace in your role.
- Define opportunities to best demonstrate allyship (virtually and in-person).
- Explore ways to be a better ally for team members and clients at all levels to improve performance.
- Identify simple everyday allyship techniques to make your workplaces more inclusive.
- Determine how to be more self-aware to take effective action towards a positive workplace culture of belonging
- Identify talent and organizational development needs in areas of allyship, cultural competence, cultural humility, and inclusive leadership.
Ask me about our virtual webinars, keynotes, lunch-and-learns, and town halls.
As CEO and Principal Consultant of Inclusive Leaders Group, LLC, Charlotte Hughes MS, CDP, SHRBP, CPLP brings a diverse background as an accomplished Workforce and Organizational Development and Diversity & Inclusion global thought leader and practitioner for several major Fortune 100 companies and one of the largest health systems in the U.S. Charlotte delivers more than 60 speeches and facilitates roughly the same number of training workshops each year.