Organizational culture to support engagement

You and your team can first assess whether your organization already has a culture that commits to engaging persons with lived experience. To successfully engage persons, your organization must believe in the value of partnering with clients to design services (Health Quality Ontario, 2017; RNAO, 2015). Following are several indicators that can help you assess whether your senior leadership is committed to engaging persons with lived experience. If you realize that your senior leaders are not yet ready for this level of engagement, you can also use these indicators to help guide a conversation to promote a culture that is committed to engaging persons. See Considerations for getting started: #1 for strategies to overcome barriers that may occur at the senior leadership level.

Role of senior leaders

Senior leaders are responsible for setting priorities and directions based on the mission and vision for their organization. They typically commit to embedding the engagement of persons with lived experience into their organizational culture by:

  • including the attributes of engaging persons with lived experience into the mission, vision, value statements and strategies of the organization;
  • being inspiring and leading through example by modelling to staff their own encounters with persons with lived experience;
  • ensuring resources are available for the ongoing development (educating and mentoring) of staff in engaging persons with lived experience;
  • monitoring, collecting and evaluating data on persons’ experiences of health care and services, and using these perspectives to inform organizational improvements;
  • incorporating expectations for engaging persons with lived experience into the organization’s system designs (policy reviews, development of procedures, hiring practices and performance reviews of staff); and
  • ensuring staff feels respected and valued, recognizing and celebrating when staff partner effectively with persons with lived experience.