Learning to be respectful of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and communication styles is a key component of practice success. Sensitivity training can help your employees achieve this goal.
While sensitivity training has become a more common practice in recent years, it is not a new concept. The idea has its origins in a 1914 concept known as psychodrama, created by Jacob Levy Moreno. Today, it is used as a tool for achieving specific goals that improve the patient experience:
- Improve relationships with patients
- Foster a positive working environment
- Increase employee retention
- Reduce grievances, complaints, and conflicts between employees
- Encourage diversity
- Increase productivity
What is sensitivity training?
Sensitivity training is an organizational development technique that uses counseling methods to increase well-being, self-awareness of internal prejudices, and sensitivity to others.
Why is sensitivity training important?
Sensitivity training helps employees become more accepting of diversity in the workplace. It also improves understanding between various members of an organization and facilitates the establishment of productive interpersonal relationships between team members.
What are the benefits of sensitivity training?
Sensitivity training can benefit your practice in multiple ways.
1. Increase cultural awareness
Cultural awareness promotes a sense of belonging in the workplace. This may lead to better interactions between coworkers, partners, patients, and others. Sensitivity training creates a foundation for learning about and valuing the different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of others.
2. Improves decision making
Whenever people make decisions, including giving healthcare practice advice, those decisions are often affected by bias that the decision-maker is unaware of. This is called unconscious or implicit bias. This bias can sometimes lead to unfair decisions that may have a significant negative impact on your practice, such as making an illegally discriminatory hiring decision or running an insensitive marketing campaign that creates a backlash against your practice. Sensitivity training helps employees recognize, understand, and minimize the impact of these biases.
3. Empowers employees
Bystander intervention can be one of the most powerful tools for eliminating incidents of harassment, discrimination, microaggressions, and other illegal or undesirable conduct in the workplace. Sensitivity training helps employees feel empowered to speak up when they witness these types of behaviors in the workplace.
4. Improves adherence to company code of conduct
Different people have different ideas about what is acceptable conduct in the workplace. Practices must establish a code of conduct that specifically outlines what is and is not acceptable behavior. Sensitivity training helps employees understand why these standards are necessary and how they benefit your practice, your employees, and your patients.
5. Improves communication skills
Employees who lack cultural sensitivity may have difficulty effectively communicating with people from other groups. This can lead to situations where patients or other employees are alienated or offended by something an employee has said or written. Sensitivity training helps employees understand the impact of their words, gestures, actions, and body language.
Building better relationships
The team at Doctor Genius can help your practice build better relationships with customers. Our content marketing, digital advertising, website building, and online reputation management services are designed to cultivate productive relationships between practices and patients that improve patient retention. Contact us today to find out more.