HCBS Training

Embedding Cultural Diversity Training into Staff Performance and Development

desktop with keyboard and cup of coffee. Words culture loading in center of drawing, surrounded by tradition, nation, language, belief, society, behavior, history and ethnicity

Effective staff development planning includes making sure all staff feel valued, heard, and accepted for who they are and what they bring to the organization. Creating time to learn about and practice empathy helps build relationships and promotes cultural responsiveness. Active staff development efforts that focus on promoting cultural awarenees can lead to increases in: 

  • Trust among staff and leadership,
  • Improvements in creative problem solving,
  • Changes in climate and increased celebration of diversity, and
  • Innovations within an organization.

Annual cultural diversity trainings are common in many organizations often do not result in real and positive change. The information in cultural awareness trainings can be hard to remember after a few months. It is important for teams to think about how to embed training related to affirming and celebrating  cultural diversity across the year to make sure the content is not forgotten. Ongoing learning opportunities help people see differences in cultural views and values, and how these differences can impact services. 

Item 26 on the Minnesota Team Checklist is used by teams to assess whether cultural responsiveness training is being integrated into all staff development and is becoming part of ongoing learning. Examples of activities used to integrate cultural responsiveness are listed below. In addition, the Module 6 Resources Page includes more information.

  • Highlighting and celebrating different cultures represented by staff and people receiving HCBS
  • Creating major messages to share with the community
  • Showing videos related to equity and cultural disparities with guided discussion topics during staff meetings
  • Adding a subsection to the action plan with goals and steps to embed training elements
  • Developing satisfaction and climate surveys and listening sessions to assess staff perspectives and views of people receiving services
  • Adding tools, including family quality of life surveys and review processes to plans of care

One team’s approach for highlighting culture is available in Module 6 Resources along with  examples of free training materials that address cultural responsiveness.


Please use the MN Team Checklist and the HCBS Planning Tool to complete the activity.

Minnesota Team Checklist.  Item number 26 in Staff Performance and Development section.  Training in cultural responsiveness is integrated into staff development efforts. Score the checklist: 0 – planning not yet started, 1 – in progress, or 2 – fully in place.

Checklist item 26: Training in cultural responsiveness is integrated into staff development efforts.

Review the types of cultural responsiveness trainings that the organization uses and discuss how these practices are introduced to new and existing staff.

Minnesota Team Checklist

HCBS Planning Tool

If you haven't already done so please use these links to access the tools.