Diversity is inevitable. People will always come from different backgrounds with varying beliefs and behaviors. Cultural competency is an important value which should be possessed by staff in order to improve their interaction with their colleagues in the work place and more importantly to reduce disparity in service delivery. This way, the organization will be able to provide services to clients of different cultures and achieve client satisfaction among all the clients. Any organization should therefore ensure that their staff is culturally competent. (Hofstede, 1997)
Legal issues are a potential consequence of cultural incompetence among the staff in an organization. A client who has been offered poor service or verbally abused based on their race, beliefs or behaviors by the staff may sue the organization in a court of law. The organization will have a ruined reputation and are going to lose a large amount of money in compensation and also in legal fees. Another potential problem caused by cultural incompetence among the staff in an organization is demoralization among the work force. If members of the staff are subjected to bias or ill-treated due to their background, race, belief or behavior, they are likely to have low output in the work place and may lead to absenteeism or resignation. The organization may lose some of their most valued work force in the process. The organization’s objectives in terms of output and work done will not be met due to reduced work force.
Culturally competent staff may be developed in an organization by developing systems which ensure that there is equality in terms of voice and responsibility among staff members. This can be done by coming up with policies, a set of values and principles which the staff members must adhere to as long as they work in the organization. These will govern the behavior of staff as they work in the organization and limit harassment of staff or clients based on their cultural diversity. (Kaye et al 1995))
Another strategy for developing competent staff is training staff on cultural diversity and the importance of embracing other cultures especially to ensure success in the work place. This way, the staff is able to understand the various diverse cultures they expect to come across in the work place and how to handle them. The staff should also be encouraged to communicate freely and effectively with other staff members and clients so they can understand other cultures when need arises. (Kaye et al 1995).
Cultural competence is an essential aspect of every organization. With increased migration and travel, there is bound to be an increased interaction level among different cultures. For an organization to succeed, cultural diversity needs to be embraced and cultural competence among staff should be ensured.
Dreachslin J. L, Gilbert M.J, Malone B. (2012) Diversity and Cultural Competence in Health
Care: A Systems Approach: John Wiley & Sons
Hofstede, G. (1997). Culture and Organizations: McGraw Hill
Kaye G., Wolff T. (1995) From the Ground Up! A workbook on coalition building and
community development: AHEC Community Partners.
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