Workplace Cultural Competence Certification
Organizational Strategy for Improved Intercultural Communications
Workplace Cultural Competence Framework and Requirements – includes implementation and self-assessment guides. Training, coaching, facilitated workshops, assessments, and certification of progress and accomplishment are available on demand as a fee-for-service basis.
No matter what strategies, initiatives, tactics, or projects are undertaken by an organization to realize its goals, it always comes down to the people to make them happen. We know from numerous studies that higher levels of employee engagement, loyalty, and retention directly correlate to an organization’s pursuit of excellence. In an increasingly diverse society, reliant on immigration to fulfill skilled labour needs, Intercultural Communications and Workplace Cultural Competence are fundamental attributes of a healthy and productive workplace. Internationally-trained individuals (“ITI’s”) are becoming a significant part of the Canadian workforce. Barriers that keep employees from achieving their full potential must be identified and then prevented or removed.
A progressive organization must have a strategy in place that addresses Workplace Cultural Competence and is well-defined and communicated throughout all levels and departments. The essential elements of such a strategy are detailed in the requirements that follow.
Cultural Competence is:
A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together as a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.
Requires that organizations have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally.
A developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum.
Using a framework consisting of requirements is a practical approach to implementing change in an organization. It focuses attention on the right things to think about. It provides a measurable gap analysis by examining each criterion and asking:
- “Do we do this now?”
- “How do we do it?”
- “To what extent do we do it?”
Excellence Canada has found that when these requirements are grouped by business driver, and implemented in stages that build progressively, there is far greater success at achieving continuous improvement and the desired outcomes that are in alignment with an organization’s mission, vision and goals. Moreover, there are valuable opportunities to celebrate milestones as stages are completed.
The objective of this framework is to create a workplace that is welcoming to ITI’s by being culturally integrated, respectful of different cultural backgrounds, and supportive of individual initiative, achievement, and advancement. With ongoing turnover and movement of staff between the departments of every organization, a sustainable approach must be adopted and continually reinforced through feedback, analysis, and improvement.
A part of this strategy is a method to assess the organization’s Workplace Cultural Competence. Another is to empower individuals to assess their own strengths and opportunities and to directly improve their Workplace Cultural Competence skills through targeted training.
Competency should be assessed and training provided for:
- Cultural awareness
- Interpersonal communication
- Networking and informal communication
- Relationship/client focused communication
- Conflict management
- Professional behaviour
- Teamwork in cross-cultural teams
- Awareness of legal frameworks in the workplace
While Workplace Cultural Competence is just one component of a more comprehensive employee engagement and empowerment strategy, it is foundational. There are few workforce issues that are more readily acknowledged as being a challenge for employers right now, let alone in the years to come. As such, it is valuable to celebrate successful role-models in this area and draw out best-practices for sharing with the wider community. The desired outcome of satisfying the Workplace Cultural Competence Requirements is a high-functioning and cohesive workforce.
Third-party verification of this accomplishment from an authority like Excellence Canada, in the form of certification by Excellence Canada is a powerful tool for staff recruitment and engagement. Publicizing the recognition or certification also provides objective evidence to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders that the organization is a global role-model for inclusive vision and practices.
For more information about how to get started, please contact us today!