Designing human resource management practices to improve the wellbeing of healthcare workers from BAME backgrounds in the context of COVID-19.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Abstract

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected healthcare staff from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. As the NHS is reliant on a diverse workforce, it is crucial to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of BAME staff and thereby alleviate longer-term effects on service delivery and workforce planning. A current obstacle to achieving this successfully is a lack of understanding among healthcare organisations of how to design culturally appropriate and inclusive human resource management (HRM) practices that ensure BAME employees feel valued and supported.
This 18 - month long study proposes to address this challenge by coordinating a survey, follow-up interviews, and a series of workshops in partnership with three NHS organisations. The partner organisations will provide links with their BAME/diversity networks and facilitate the recruitment of BAME staff employed directly and via employment agencies.
Surveys of BAME staff at all levels will investigate staff perceptions of organisational support, estimate their effects on wellbeing and identify areas of need. Targeted interviews with BAME staff will provide unique insights into critical experiences and impacts of COVID-19 on the BAME talent pipeline. Finally, a series of workshops will engage NHS managers, BAME networks, and trade unions in co-producing HRM practices that target BAME staff wellbeing, progression, and retention. The project will lead to the development of a set of HRM practices and policy recommendations to transform organisational support for BAME employees. Organisational stakeholders and the research team will also co-produce a training framework and educational resources to raise awareness of BAME perspectives and wellbeing-oriented HRM practices. These will be piloted through the partner organisations and integrated into final deliverables.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The preliminary findings identified 3 broad areas of need important for making the working environment in the NHS more inclusive to minority staff:

Career progress facilitation to increase minority representation in higher pay bands and leadership roles

- Improving information sharing on career pathways, training, mentorship
- Emphasise soft skills development and leadership development for minority staff, include soft skills training as mandatory in existing training pathways
- Provide BAME/minority exclusive access to training
- Develop interview assistance programme for minority candidates
- Ensure that existing "best practices" in recruitment/promotion are followed
Include minority staff representatives on the recruitment panel, from the same clinical/business area
- Introduce training for managers on how to assess candidates in interviews

Dedicated Support for minority staff
Provide dedicated, independent support mechanisms for minority staff, especially related to performance management issues, racist incidents, or microaggressions
- Provide training for managers on caring, person-centered management, and leadership •Model respectful working environment for staff, especially those in lower pay bands
- Empower minority staff to attend BAME network meetings/events and create their associations
- Managers should be made more aware of/ and accountable for BAME issues

Promoting Diversity on organisational / NHS level, both locally and nationally,
- Highlighting BAME staff contribution to the NHS
- Celebrating diverse cultures (not just "Eid and Christmas")
- Raising the profile of the BAME staff in local NHS organisations

Beyond this, the findings show a need for changes in HR policy, especially overhauling promotion/recruitment processes, and a need for more inclusive management practices by
- Managers/supervisors
-Senior managers/leadership
-HR personnel
Exploitation Route Distribution of findings will progress through professional channels, in the form of presentations and workshops with senior stakeholders in partner NHS organisations and engagement with BAME/ethnic minority networks in NHS organisations, and in social care and third sector organisations, locally, regionally and nationally. Proactive use of key findings will inform initiatives tasked with addressing the wellbeing of minority ethnic staff within the health and social care sectors. Our findings can inform workforce diversity and inclusion strategies that will contribute to the creation of a more equitable health and social care system. Finally, the significance of the findings goes beyond the health/social care sector and is relevant to creating an inclusive working environment in diverse businesses and organisations.
Sectors Healthcare,Other

 
Description The award is ongoing. So far, our findings are informing the activities and initiatives of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice in Leeds area (previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising local NHS, social care, and third sector organisations. The community of practice meets regularly to deliver wellbeing-oriented interventions and initiatives to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, focused on improving leadership practices, while Dr. Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group which works to improve the workforce engagement with health and wellbeing offers. Through Dr. Irnazarow's work, the sub-group is closely aligned with this research project and the preliminary findings shape the agenda of the sub-group to focus on the needs of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds and communities.
First Year Of Impact 2021
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description The Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice 
Organisation Leeds City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Since spring 2021 Prof Song (PI) and Dr Irnazarow (Co-I) are members of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (Previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and third sector organisations (West Yorkshire Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, Forum Central, Touchstone Leeds). The project aims to develop a realistic plan and affect organisational change to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, which focuses on transforming leadership practices and HRM practices. Professor Song uses this form to advocate on the behalf of minority ethnic staff. Dr Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group. The sub-group works to improve access to mental health/wellbeing offered across the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Dr Irnazarow chairs regular bi-monthly meetings of the sub-group.
Collaborator Contribution The community of practice is run and coordinated by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce.
Impact Through their involvement, Prof Song and Dr Irnazarow raise the profile of their research project and ensure that the generated knowledge directly informs the proposed initiatives and shapes the agenda to focus on staff from minority ethnic communities.
Start Year 2021
 
Description The Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice 
Organisation Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Since spring 2021 Prof Song (PI) and Dr Irnazarow (Co-I) are members of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (Previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and third sector organisations (West Yorkshire Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, Forum Central, Touchstone Leeds). The project aims to develop a realistic plan and affect organisational change to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, which focuses on transforming leadership practices and HRM practices. Professor Song uses this form to advocate on the behalf of minority ethnic staff. Dr Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group. The sub-group works to improve access to mental health/wellbeing offered across the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Dr Irnazarow chairs regular bi-monthly meetings of the sub-group.
Collaborator Contribution The community of practice is run and coordinated by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce.
Impact Through their involvement, Prof Song and Dr Irnazarow raise the profile of their research project and ensure that the generated knowledge directly informs the proposed initiatives and shapes the agenda to focus on staff from minority ethnic communities.
Start Year 2021
 
Description The Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice 
Organisation Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Since spring 2021 Prof Song (PI) and Dr Irnazarow (Co-I) are members of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (Previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and third sector organisations (West Yorkshire Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, Forum Central, Touchstone Leeds). The project aims to develop a realistic plan and affect organisational change to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, which focuses on transforming leadership practices and HRM practices. Professor Song uses this form to advocate on the behalf of minority ethnic staff. Dr Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group. The sub-group works to improve access to mental health/wellbeing offered across the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Dr Irnazarow chairs regular bi-monthly meetings of the sub-group.
Collaborator Contribution The community of practice is run and coordinated by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce.
Impact Through their involvement, Prof Song and Dr Irnazarow raise the profile of their research project and ensure that the generated knowledge directly informs the proposed initiatives and shapes the agenda to focus on staff from minority ethnic communities.
Start Year 2021
 
Description The Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice 
Organisation Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Since spring 2021 Prof Song (PI) and Dr Irnazarow (Co-I) are members of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (Previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and third sector organisations (West Yorkshire Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, Forum Central, Touchstone Leeds). The project aims to develop a realistic plan and affect organisational change to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, which focuses on transforming leadership practices and HRM practices. Professor Song uses this form to advocate on the behalf of minority ethnic staff. Dr Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group. The sub-group works to improve access to mental health/wellbeing offered across the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Dr Irnazarow chairs regular bi-monthly meetings of the sub-group.
Collaborator Contribution The community of practice is run and coordinated by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce.
Impact Through their involvement, Prof Song and Dr Irnazarow raise the profile of their research project and ensure that the generated knowledge directly informs the proposed initiatives and shapes the agenda to focus on staff from minority ethnic communities.
Start Year 2021
 
Description The Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice 
Organisation NHS Leeds CCG
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Since spring 2021 Prof Song (PI) and Dr Irnazarow (Co-I) are members of the Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (Previously the Mental Health & Wellbeing Project), set up by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce, comprising Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and third sector organisations (West Yorkshire Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, Forum Central, Touchstone Leeds). The project aims to develop a realistic plan and affect organisational change to improve the work environment for the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Prof Song is a member of the "Person-Centered Compassionate Leadership" sub-group, which focuses on transforming leadership practices and HRM practices. Professor Song uses this form to advocate on the behalf of minority ethnic staff. Dr Irnazarow is a coordinator of the 'Improving Accessibility' sub-group. The sub-group works to improve access to mental health/wellbeing offered across the health and social care workforce in the Leeds region. Dr Irnazarow chairs regular bi-monthly meetings of the sub-group.
Collaborator Contribution The community of practice is run and coordinated by Leeds Health and Care Academy and Leeds One Workforce.
Impact Through their involvement, Prof Song and Dr Irnazarow raise the profile of their research project and ensure that the generated knowledge directly informs the proposed initiatives and shapes the agenda to focus on staff from minority ethnic communities.
Start Year 2021
 
Description "Ideas in practice" workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The preliminary findings have informed an 'Ideas in Practice' workshop organised on 20th May 2021 'Beyond the pandemic: improving the wellbeing of minority ethnic NHS staff'. The webinar was attended by 30+ professionals and clinical staff across several local and national NHS organizations. There were questions and discussions afterwards. Several attendees asked for the recording of the workshop to share in their own networks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://business.leeds.ac.uk/dir-record/research-blog/1871/transforming-the-support-offered-to-healt...
 
Description Presentation to BME Staff Network Core Group meeting at a partner NHS organisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to the BME Staff Network Core Group meeting (February 2021). Sparked lively debate and interest in the research. This has led to the network granting support and resources to the research team, and getting network members involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation to senior regional professionals in health/social care sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to the 'Mental Health & Wellbeing Project, a community of practice comprising mental health and wellbeing professionals across Leeds health and social care workforce, Leeds City Council, and third sector organizations. Presentation and discussion led to more connections and more organisations asking us to share research findings to improve their planned or ongoing projects and activities in the area of staff wellbeing/engagement (22nd September 2021).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation to the BME Staff Network meeting in partner NHS organisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of preliminary findings to the BME Staff Network meeting in partner NHS organisation. This was a "general" network meeting comprising network members. Presentation led to discussions and participants sharing their own experiences. This was followed by participants promoting our research and getting involved as volunteers (16th November 2021).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Stakeholder presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation and discussion at the "Health and Wellbeing Committee" meeting in partner NHS organisation. Questions and discussion afterward. Sparked interest in the research and its findings, and requests to connect and work with new, senior health and wellbeing professionals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021