Kendal at Home Elevates DEIB Initiatives  

Advancing a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment

Kendal at Home is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for members, staff and community partners. As a program spread across multiple states, providing regular training and touchpoints is pivotal to the success of the team’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) efforts.

An important initiative in this area is accreditation by SAGECare. This prestigious certification recognizes the work that the program has done to create a more positive environment for LGBTQ+ older adults, including training all existing and new employees.

Building on this positive momentum, Kendal at Home was excited to embrace the affiliate grant funding provided by Kendal Charitable Funds (KCF) in 2022. The grant funding, which is centered on workplace diversity, served as the perfect launching point to continue empowering current staff and improve the program’s approach to recruitment.

Building a Culture of Belonging

One of the first initiatives by Kendal at Home was to obtain training materials that could guide discussions and provide a framework for additional efforts. With funding from the KCF grant, Kendal at Home purchased two materials. The first, “Better Humans, Better Performance,” is a resource that connects the dots from essential values such as compassion, courage and justice with creating tangible changes within an organization. The second material is “DEI Deconstructed”, a guide to implementing DEI initiatives. Both materials were foundational for Kendal at Home’s leadership to ensure DEIB initiatives would result in change and shifts in perspective.

The next step was to engage Kendal at Home staff in educational offerings. LeadingAge National, a community of non-profit aging services providers, hosts a DEI training program designed to raise individual awareness of the needs and practices of DEIB. A second training that Kendal at Home utilized is a Longevity Inclusion and Alliance Program intended to ensure that leaders and organizations with aging services are culturally competent and intentional in their pursuits of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, accessibility and justice.

Additionally, Kendal at Home engaged funding to hold strategic retreats that allowed members, staff and partners from across service areas to engage in personal discussion on the training and resources. Navigating educational opportunities and meetings across three states can be challenging. By utilizing virtual training and strategic in-person gatherings Kendal at Home has increased connections across markets in Massachusetts, Ohio and Kentucky.

Promoting Connections Across Program Areas

Kendal at Home recognizes that strong leadership buy-in is critical for ongoing success in DEIB efforts. In addition to communicating lessons learned from these resources and training, leadership is committed to modeling inclusive behaviors and holding the organization accountable for fostering an equitable workplace.

One of the top signals of commitment is a process to regularly track and report key diversity metrics, including leadership representation, pay equity and employee satisfaction through “We Care Connect,” a program designed to identify areas for improvement.

Additionally, Kendal at Home’s policy review and development initiatives reinforce a dedication to DEIB efforts. A continuous review and update of policies will ensure fairness and eliminate bias, covering processes such as hiring, promotion and employee conduct. Kendal at Home remains dedicated to improving recruitment processes at both the staff and board level.

Building Partnerships with Like-minded Organizations

To continue Kendal at Home’s efforts across markets, Kendal at Home will engage with Board Chair Alan Kolp to continue education and integration of DEIB accommodations. Ongoing work with LeadingAge National and LeadingAge Ohio will also continue to take place.

Working alongside individuals who share similar values enables the Kendal at Home community to further its dedication towards creating a culture of belonging.

Funds provided by Kendal Charitable Funds

Kendal believes that a spirit of inclusion and a culture of diversity enrich and strengthen communities, people and services. Creating welcoming and educated environments requires concentrated efforts and is the shared responsibility of each community and team member.

Kendal Charitable Funds, incorporated in 1989, supports the charitable goals and aspirations of The Kendal Corporation, its network of affiliates and the wider world of aging. The 2022 Affiliate Grant program provided support to Kendal affiliates in areas focused on increasing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging, particularly among employees. Each month, we plan to share a story from a Kendal affiliate to highlight the strides they made in DEIB initiatives as it relates to the workforce.