To be effective, cultural competency must exist throughout the organisation — from frontline workers through to executive officers and boards; from policies and procedures through to work practices and workplace culture. Conduct a cultural self-assessment Individual examples include recognising that each of us has a culture and it shapes our values, beliefs and view of the world. One religion with practices and observances that may need additional accommodations in the workplace is Islam, particularly given the fact that its followers are growing in numbers. Keep active connections with cultural communities in the local area. An organisational example would be conducting a cultural competency audit or self assessment. She cites a number of practices, including the fact that Friday prayers, as an important part of Islamic life. Reports are available for over 80 countries, and include topics applicable to culture and customs.
Managing a workforce of assorted customs and beliefs can be challenging. Learning About Different Cultures How does an employer learn about different cultures? Join your local peak body representing the principles of multiculturalism, or forming active relationships and partnerships with ethno-specific organisations and associations in your local area. Employers may be unfamiliar with the rituals and beliefs of various religions; cultural differences may also seem foreign. Developing a cultural competency plan means assessing and addressing each expected outcome of the standards according to the degree to which it could be interpreted and achieved in diverse cultural contexts. Working in community care means being prepared to learn and work within cultural interpretations that may not be your own. Cultural diversity in your workforce is a significant asset to an organisation. Yet challenges will still be encountered. Value diversity Examples at the individual level include recognising that cultural diversity provides benefits and strengths to society, and that working in cross-cultural contexts is an enriching life experience. Share As companies diversify and the workplace expands to include people from various backgrounds, cultural differences among employees will become more prevalent. It shapes the way we see the world. Jenny Bray Services often jump straight into service adaptations based on the visible parts of culture — those things that are expressed through behaviour, such as language, food, dress and the expression of cultural celebrations. Keep active connections with cultural communities in the local area. The goal is that system is able to step beyond the bounds of a particular cultural interpretation in order to work effectively in any context of diversity. Jenny Bray outlines strategies for community care providers and their staff to achieve cultural competency. In order to accommodate this particular need, it is suggested that employers allow Muslim employees to take extended lunch hours on Fridays. An organisational example would be conducting a cultural competency audit or self assessment. If the worker is from the same cultural group as the client, they may well be put under significant cultural pressure to adhere to the community values, while under workplace pressure to maintain policies and procedures. Doing so will create a more harmonious organization, which will result in greater productivity. If the organisation has approached the expected outcomes of community understanding and engagement, and service user complaints and feedback with the rigor of cultural competency, then the service responses will be obvious, although not necessarily without challenge. Acquire and institutionalise cultural knowledge At the individual level keep learning about different cultures — particularly the cultures of the clients you support. According to Minehan, followers of Islam are from extremely diverse backgrounds. Organisations and the individuals within them must develop the capacity to do each of the following. Adapt to the contexts of the individuals Put what you learn into practice at both the individual and organisational level. She indicates that the total number of Muslims in the U. Look to the cultural diversity clearing houses and ethno-specific organisations for examples of strategies for how to negotiate tricky terrain such as where a cultural view does not sit comfortably with, say, a reablement strategy, or with non-negotiable expressions of mainstream culture, such as program guidelines, regulations or laws.
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