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More Reasons to Celebrate Inclusion Week at Compass One Healthcare

More Reasons to Celebrate Inclusion Week at Compass One Healthcare

By Liz Remillong, Division Vice President and Chair, Compass One Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion Action Council (DIAC)

As we approach our three-year anniversary of celebrating Inclusion, Compass One Healthcare is continuing to ramp up our efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture throughout the company.

This Diversity and Inclusion Council (DIAC) is approaching this opportunity from all angles. We have a new focus on associate recruiting and have created a variety of educational materials and improved our communications about the benefits of operating in an inclusive, collaborative environment.  By encouraging this behavior, we can demonstrate the personal and business benefits of operating in an inclusive environment.

Getting & Keeping New Associates

Our top priority is to recruit diverse talent from across the country. To achieve this goal, we have recommended to the Human Resources department that our hiring process include specific questions that can help evaluate a candidate’s inclusive management skills. Here are some of the questions we’d like to include:

  • Please share an example that demonstrates your respect for people and their differences;
  • How have you worked to understand the perspectives of others?
  • How have you handled situations where a colleague or subordinate was not accepting of another’s diversity? What was the result?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important leadership trait required to foster a receptive climate to inclusion in the workforce?

Next, once the new recruits arrive, we know communications and engagement are the keys to keeping them here.

Our communications have been updated so that all messaging, as part of the onboarding process, demonstrates our inclusive culture and lets them know the  DIAC is an important wonderful resource. Designed to be informative, educational and welcoming, our communications also address how new associates can overcome certain obstacles that may affect diverse associates.

We know that turnover occurs at specific periods, such as between 90 and 120 days after joining the company. So, we’ve agreed to reach out them again at the 75- day mark with some additional communication with the intent to show appreciation for their contribution so far and to encourage engagement and commitment to the organization.

But we know establishing a diverse and inclusive culture will take more than a strong communications program. So, we’ve added a new Associate Engagement strategy that includes the following components:

A New Inclusion Ambassador program.  This is a pilot program where two people from each region, one each from Morrison and Crothall, will be charged with promoting diversity and inclusion among their teams.  They will share monthly DIAC messages with other associates, create Diversity Moments – a story or anecdote at meetings and on leadership calls with the diversity message – and provide feedback to the DIAC from their respective regions. They are our voices, eyes and ears in the field.  This feedback is critical and helps us design and develop future programs and communications that our associates are asking for.

We currently have 66 Inclusion Ambassadors; our goal is to have one in every region within Compass One Healthcare. We have a much better chance of creating an inclusive culture throughout our company if there is purposeful and consistent communications about the benefits of inclusive leadership in a diverse workplace.

The New Inclusion Excellence Award. Innovative ideas are one of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive environment. And we know that innovative ideas produce great business results.  To foster this, we’ve taken the former Five Jewel award and repositioned it to specifically encourage innovation through collaboration within the units, teams and departments.

The focus this year will be on our people.  We are asking teams to come up with innovative ideas that, when implemented, will have a positive impact on one of the following: attract, retain, develop and engage our associates.  It only takes one good idea to make a difference and we can’t wait to see all of the innovative ideas that will come from seeking input from the whole team.

For any associate seeking to find out how they can become more involved, here are three tips anyone who would like to #IgniteInclusion in their lives:

Participate in Inclusion Week. All of the materials are available to you to get started.  There are several fun, easy and rewarding activities you can incorporate with your team all year long.

Go to the DIAC sections of the weekly NTK or MNTK emails. The monthly calendar, the newsletter and the other links provide valuable information that will help you become a more inclusive person and leader. The links to the online training sessions are there, too.

Participate in the Inclusion Excellence Award. Get your team together, including frontline associates; identify a specific issue or need you are currently experiencing and collaborate with team members to come up with ideas and solutions for that issue.  Submitting a nomination will create a supportive and respectful environment; be ready for some really innovative solutions.

In the end, our approach to diversity and inclusion will give us a competitive edge that will serve us well in the future.  It will make us more attractive to candidates seeking a long and satisfying career and more competitive as our company seeks new business.  And that’s tough combination to beat.

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Morrison is a Compass One Healthcare operating division within Compass Group and has more than 1,200 registered dietitians, 300 executive chefs, and 20,000 professional food service team members. Apply for team member or management positions in one of the best companies to work for today.

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