Culture Resource Centre

Intercultural Communication Workshop: Communication Skills for Multicultural Staff

Apply Intercultural Communication Skills for Multicultural Staff in the Aged Care Industry
(2009 – ongoing)

Challenge
An Aged Care facility employs culturally diverse carers (majority of staff migrated from overseas), higher educated registered nurses (local and overseas) and management (local and overseas) to delivering their services to aged care residents. Some of the challenges experienced are for example lack of trust (carers from diverse cultures do not want to work together in shifts), exclusion (people talk in their own language among each other), miscommunication (different communication preferences and styles), different management styles and general staff expectations, etc.

Interventions

  1. Facilitation of two different workshop
    – Management training workshop
    – Staff Training workshops
  2. Management fill in Training Needs Analysis to identify challenges, experiences and expectations of participants.
  3. Face-to-Face training workshops for Management (one-day) and staff (half-day)
  4. Challenges and experiences
    – Staff & Management: Cultural awareness, know-how to be able to map cultural behaviour and styles
    – Staff & Management: Communication styles and preferences to bridge cultural differences
    – Management: explore management styles and appropriate work practices across cultures
    – Management: developing management and work practices to close cultural gaps
  5. Participants complete Training Feedback Analysis and reports with recommendations are shared and discussed with organisation and contact persons.

Results:
After we facilitated the ‘Apply Intercultural Communication Skills for Multicultural Staff’ pilot training for staff and the ‘Managing¬†Multicultural Staff’ pilot training for Management we received feedback which showed a remarkable positive shift in ‘hard numbers’ (measured after 3 and 6 months): reduction in sick leave, increase of staff on return to work, reduction in agency hours, increase in staff satisfaction participation rates, staff satisfaction scores, reduction in turnover, reduction of client complaints and an increase of client satisfaction. Since then we continue to train staff and management for the Aged Care Organisation in different geographic areas with equal positive results.

We work with a number of Health and Aged Care Institutes, Government (State Government, Local government – councils and libraries), and Educational institutes to assist staff and management becoming more effective in delivering multicultural customer service and improve intercultural communication within organisations, their clients and the community.