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)


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.


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