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Welcome! Cultural Competency Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome! Cultural Competency Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce."— Presentation transcript:


2 Welcome! Cultural Competency Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce

3 Leading by Putting Your Followers First  If you are going to engage the best and the brightest and retain them, they’d better think that you care more about them than you care about yourself.  It’s about distilling the complex to the simple; and I’ve seen leaders fail because they do the reverse, by trying to make things into some intellectual exercise.” 2 Don Knauss Chief Executive of the Clorox Corporation (Former US Marine) Proctor & Gamble March 23, 2014

4 The VA’s D&I Strategic Plan 1.A Diverse Workforce 2.An Inclusive Workplace 3.Outstanding Public Service D&I Strategic Plan

5 Key Considerations Examining: External/Internal Influences, Incivility, Psychological Safety Defining: Diversity, Inclusion, Unconscious Bias Recognizing: Culture, Cultural Competence Discussing: LGBT, Military, Veteran, Religious, Generations

6 Branding’s Importance  Reputation/History  Pride in daily accomplishments  Responses to criticisms  Passion for excellence 5

7 External Factors From Road Rage to Desk Rage

8 Examining External Factors  Work-Life balance disruptions  Family member unemployed long term  Financial, Marital, Medical  Elderly parent/child care  Adult children back home From 2008-2012, only 11% of workers unemployed for more than six months found work again, Princeton University Study, released December 2013

9 Examining Internal Factors  Current supervisor – single most important factor  Job assignments, lack of resources/training  Shift, overtime, advancement opportunities  Telework flexibility  Co-workers

10 Blatant: Discipline or put downs in front of others Rude or intolerable behavior Gossip/backstabbing Withholding of deserved praise Subtle: Consistently late Cold shoulder treatment Tech etiquette - 76% Internal Factors - Incivility

11 Internal Factors Risky Humor?  Necessary - humor relieves tension and energizes  Risky - differing perspectives & range of tolerance  Stopping unwelcome humor

12 Dynamic Countermeasures Appreciation & Respect  Thank you, great job!  Identify, motivate, and engage existing talent  Assume the best intentions of employees  Create psychological safety

13 Psychological Safety  Free expressions of ideas/recommendations  Civility, mutual respect  Minimizes conflict  Institutional expectation

14 Diversity “It’s not Quantum Physics”  State of being - what makes us unique  Primary and secondary dimensions Quantum physics deals with physical phenomena at nanoscopic scales where the action is on the order of the Planck Constant.

15 Primary Dimensions of Diversity

16 Secondary Dimensions of Diversity

17 SLBCFLTK SPRNDHLMGCFLTK SLBSPRNDSLB SPRNDHLMGCFLTK HLMGSPRNDCFLTK 11 million pieces of information at any one time 40-50 pieces of information get absorbed 40-50 pieces of information get absorbed


19 Unconscious Bias  Flight or fight response – Amygdala  Safe, likeable, valuable, and competent  Confirms already held beliefs - reality  Impacts perceptions  May impact decisions

20 Workplace Inclusion  Distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives  Valued and respected employees  Enhances productivity, morale, satisfaction  State of mind - discretionary activity  Decreases legal vulnerability

21 What is Culture? Culture is the integrated pattern of thoughts, communications, actions, customs, belief, values, and institutions associated, wholly or partially, with racial, ethnic, or linguistic groups as well as with religious, spiritual, biological, geographical or sociological characteristics. Elements include primary and secondary dimensions of diversity

22 Cultural Competency  Set of blended behaviors, attitudes, policies  Recognizes, affirms & values the cultural differences, similarities & worth of individuals, families & communities  Awareness of different interpretations  Adapting communications and interactions


24 Religious/Spiritual Awareness  Cultural expectations  Restrictions on touching, distance, and modesty  Respecting conflicting beliefs  Reasonable accommodation or expressions  Holiday parties and displays

25 Military and Veteran Cultures  Culture and branches  Resilience, diversity, sacrifice, deployments  Traumatic events, driving forces, military values  Far less connected to civilian population 24

26 Veterans and Era of Service  World War 2 Era: 1941 – 1946  Korean War Era: 1950 – 1955  Vietnam War Era: 1961 – 1975  Cold War Era: 1945 – 1991  Gulf War Era: 1990 - Present

27 Washington DC VAMC Percent Veterans Fiscal Year % Veterans 200924.31 201023.66 201126.28 201225.32 201325.09 201425.73

28 Military Jargon Doc Tunnel Rat FUBAR O Dark 30 Head Jarhead MOS Gun Bunny Kandahar Grunt P-38 (John Wayne) MRE Butter Bar Mustang Officer Kevlar Humvee IED/TBI/PTSD

29 Employment Barriers  Disability rate higher – more hidden disabilities  Lack of civilian work experience  Recognition of skills, certifications, licensing  Impact and “B principle” *44 percent of veterans who served since 9/11 were having trouble adjusting to civilian life, *Pew Research Survey, 2012.

30 Women Veterans 29

31  Median age 49 (men 64)  Body Armor (30-60 lbs.)  25% have disability ratings of 50% or higher  Higher college attendance/completion vs. men  Incorrect diagnoses - complex claims (MST)  Women Veterans Call Center 1-800-VA-Women Women Veterans

32 Military & Veteran Suicide Rates  More suicide than combat deaths 2012/2013  One active duty member every 17 hours in 2013  22 Veteran suicides per day  70% of Veteran suicides over 50 years old  DoD and VA intensive preventative programs The Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255

33 Generational Awareness From Typing to Tweeting


35 4 Generations Currently in the U.S. Workforce TraditionalistBaby BoomerGeneration XMillennial 1927 –19451946 –19641965 – 19801981 – 2000 Greatest Generation Matures Silent Generation Veterans Boomers Baby Bust Gen X Xers Digital Generation Echo Boomers Generation E Generation Y Nexters N-Gens Net Generation

36 Generational Awareness  Historical experiences  Adaptations/Preferences  Twist –Disco – Rock – Twerk  Rotary, Party Line, Digital, Cell, Smartphone  “Kodak Moment” – Selfies  Redefining Millennial (49% Patriotic vs. 64-81%)

37 Millennial versus HR Perceptions Millennials Human Resources People savvy65%14% Tech-savvy35%86% Loyal to employers 82% 1% Fun-loving14%39% Hard-working86%11%

38 What Generation?  Seeking challenge, meaningful work; (no “paying dues”)  Chance to prove they can perform at high level  Wants a position of responsibility ASAP  Less respectful of authority, especially the old generations  Resents being viewed by older generations as having little or no experience  Tends to be more job mobile Boomers! Training and Development Journal November, 1970

39 The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.... All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. Aristotle (384- 322 BC) Book II, 1389.a31

40 Inspire, Connect, Support  Retaining institutional knowledge  Millennials majority of workforce by 2025  Multi-tasking, work and management styles  Communication skills, initiative, energy  Visual cue recognition challenges 39

41 Washington DC VAMC Retirement Eligible Retirement Eligible FY # Employees% Eligible 201444118.27 201554722.66 201662826.01 201771729.70 201882134.01 201991737.99 20201,00441.59 20211,07644.57

42 Sexual Orientation  Person’s attraction to same or different sex  Usually defined as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual  Creating bonds – workplace conversations  Decline and fall of the “H” Word

43  Lesbian  Gay  Bisexual LGBT Lesbian and gay refer, respectively, to women and men who are attracted to individuals of the same sex. Bisexual refers to those who are attracted to both men and women.

44 Additional LGBT Terms  Gender queer  Ally  Coming Out  Closeted  Two-Spirit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

45 Transgender  “Umbrella” term  Independent of sexual orientation  Gender identity - Inner sense of male/female  Gender expression - behavior, clothing, haircut, voice and body characteristics  Making the decision to transition  Surgical or hormonal decisions 44

46 USA LGBT Population  Estimated 9 million LGBT Americans  3.5% USA Adults identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual  0.3% as transgender Gary J. Gates, “How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender?” The Williams Institute, April 2011.


48  External/Internal Influences, Incivility  Psychological Safety, Unconscious Bias  Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, Cultural Competency  LGBT, Military, Veteran, Religion, Generations Summary of Key Considerations

49 Connections to Cultural Competency

50 Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Diversity and Inclusion John Fuller, Ed.D. Chief Diversity Educator Office of Diversity and Inclusion 202-491-5969

51 Defines Who We Are Integrity Commitment Advocacy Respect Excellence

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