Culturally Effective Organization

Organizations are made up of people and people bring cultural diversity to the workplace. Diversity can encompass many facets, including, but not limited to, gender, age, race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, and disability. Many organizations are interested in meeting the needs of all people and are exploring ways to make their organizations more culturally responsive.

“To be culturally effective doesn’t mean you are an authority in the values and beliefs of every culture. What it means is that you hold a deep respect for cultural differences and are eager to learn, and willing to accept that there are many ways of viewing the world” Okokon O. Udo

As a healthcare organization, Amoskeag Health strives to provide high-quality care to all people. Amoskeag Health recognized the growing diversity in the community, and the associated racial and socio-economic imbalances which contribute to disparities in health and wellness outcomes. The organization embarked on a journey to becoming a culturally effective organization to improve health care quality and advance equity in the greater Manchester area. This toolkit shares the lessons learned and includes action steps, strategies, and resources for other organizations as they begin their journey.

This toolkit aims to provide background and resources for organizations to begin to think about ways to enhance internal systems that promote cultural effectiveness. The toolkit is based on an issue brief Culturally Effective Healthcare Organizations: A Framework for Success. There are seven elements organizations can pursue to enhance the capacity of organizations to become culturally effective. Some of the action steps an organization can implement may fall in more than one category. Resources and links are provided to learn more about each element. The toolkit will review not only WHY it is important to be culturally effective, but also HOW to make changes in YOUR organization.

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Leaders throughout the organization can act as change agents, moving the organization to become more culturally effective. What can leaders do?

Policies and Procedures

Written policies and procedures provide documentation of an organizations commitment to equity. What policies promote equity?

Data Collection and Analysis

Data provides the foundation for decision-making and evaluation. How can data help in strategic planning?

Community Engagement

Building relationships with the community contributes to connectedness and sharing feedback. How can you create an environment to share knowledge?

Language and Communication Access

Communication is key to quality patient care. What are strategies to enhance cross cultural communication?

Staff Cultural Competence

Staff interact with patients to promote good health outcomes. How can you promote the cultural competency of your workforce?

Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

Organizations want to attract a highly skilled workforce from diverse backgrounds. What are strategies that promote workforce diversity?

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