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Surprising Things You Might Not Have Known About Workplace Bullies


bullysmallEvelina Silveira, President Diversity at Work

 

One day lying in bed, a light bulb went on for me. Workplace bullies often struggle with the same issues as people who abuse their partners: anger management and poor communication skills. Alas, I realized that I had found the solution based on my previous experience as a Group Counsellor for a male batterer program.

I have developed a program for workplace bullies based on what I have learned from teaching anger management and communication skills to court-mandated clients who had domestic abuse charges.

Over the last 3 years, the demands for this service have escalated due to increasing awareness as well as protective legislation. People often ask me, what are they like?

 

I work with a very specific client group. Almost always, the workplace bully meets with me after an investigation. The bully employee has expert knowledge in their field and is highly valuable to the organization, thus losing them would have adverse financial effects on the workplace. The cost of my training is a bargain in comparison to losing an irreplaceable employee.

Usually, my clients are hard-working and good at what they do. But there are some definite characteristics which have rung true in almost every situation.

 

They are loyal employees. Bullies care about their workplaces and get angry when others do not care about it the way they do. These are the individuals who will “do things by the book.” Their rigidity means they like order and get upset when others deviate from it.

 

They have low self-esteem. Their opinion of themselves gets elevated when they intimidate others, especially if the other person complies with their wishes. Otherwise, they tend to be unhappy in their own skin. Most will disclose their family of origin was strict or conversely their parents felt they “could do no wrong.”

 

They do not take criticism easily. Workplace bullies take criticism extremely hard –especially the ones I deal with who excel at their given jobs. They can become defensive and tune out what the other person is saying. With a tendency to be selective listeners, bullies may hyper-focus on the negative or exaggerate the criticism.

 

They have poor self-care. Many of my clients will talk about a dependency on alcohol or substances. Others will medicate themselves with food. Poor self-care often translates into them working lots of unpaid over-time or not taking vacation. Constantly obsessing about work, bullies are worried about how the company will operate without them when they are away.

If you know an employee who needs to learn better ways of managing their anger and develop positive interpersonal skills, please contact me at: 519-659-4777 or Evelina@yourdiversityatwork.com. Learn more about this program at https://www.diversityatworkcommunications.com/sensitivity. Sign up for our promotions. Sessions usually take place face-to-face, however, online training is available upon request.

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Do You Watch ‘The Office’? My Workshop Gets At The Toughest Communication Grime! (‘Manager Michael Scott’ Needs To Attend!)


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I loved The Office. I still watch it in re-runs. It lets me laugh about situations I’ve seen again and again in actual workplaces. It’s not funny in real-life; but it’s hilarious in ‘pretend’!

IN REAL LIFE, I wasn’t laughing when I dealt with:

  • A manager wrongly accused of racism by an under-performer
  • An employee who unintentionally offended a client
  • An outreach worker who wanted to disclose community trends to alleviate a social problem but couldn’t without being falsely labelled herself

Why do these issues arise? Because ‘Awareness Training’ is not enough.

A healthy, safe, fearless workplace requires AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP. If you are an AUTHENTIC LEADER – or want to become one – then this workshop is for you.

What is an authentic leader? You’re confident, self-aware, and free to be yourself both publicly and privately. You see employees getting mired in political correctness, and the workplace climate being poisoned. You want to do something about it!

COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR DIVERSE WORKPLACES: My original, 6-HOUR, interactive workshop delivers tools that authentic leaders need to create and support openness and dialogue in the workplace.

In The Office ‘Dunder Mifflin Paper Products’ office and warehouse, people said the wrong things and lived in fear. They walked on eggshells. But they lacked the leadership to behave and communicate more successfully. In one episode, a diversity exercise became a circus of cultural stereotyping! It was funny because it resonates with everyone. Real-life offices face the same issues, but it’s never funny.

As a real-world manager, you experience:

  • Real conversation stifled because of fear of offense or ‘triggering’
  • An increase in bullying and harassment complaints/investigations

PARTICIPANTS IN MY MOST RECENT WORKSHOP (Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA) loved the workshop. In anonymous feedback, participants praised it:

 “I’m more inclined to engage in an uncomfortable dialogue than before this workshop.”

 “I received tools to work through difficult diversity dialogues.”

“Evelina created an atmosphere of openness and allowed uncomfortable conversations.”

“My favorite part was the variety of exercises and sessions.”

“This Communication Skills workshop was well-organized, on-time, and engaging.”

“I really appreciated the openness of Evelina!”

“This workshop was excellent: All the topics related to bias.”

“My favorite parts were the conversations and discussions.”

“I liked how the views and suggestions really support healthy dialogues.”

“I liked group discussions, thought-provoking conversations, and real-life examples.”

Workplaces today are quick to embrace diversity, but good intentions lead to conflict and toxicity. Sondra Thiederman calls this ‘Guerrilla Bias.’ In a workplace that picks up buzzwords, employees learn to identify as victims who are unable to cope with alternate views. No workplace can function and operate properly or effectively in this type of climate.

Authentic Leaders teach Authentic Communication

My workshop equips leaders with the skills necessary for authentic and challenging dialogues. Once in place, differences can be leveraged correctly. Differences become actual benefits, instead of becoming sticks to beat colleagues.

No manager wants their workplace evolving into a real-life version of The Office!

Risk-averse leaders cement a culture of silence. Silence leads to resentment and toxicity, which negates the potential benefits of a diverse workforce! In the wrong environment, diversity becomes a liability instead of an asset.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is where I come in.

I understand. I hate workplace conflict. Increased calls to my anti-bullying service means workplaces are heating up because workers have stopped talking – they are afraid.

Do you blame them? I don’t.

More and more laws pop up telling us what we can and can’t say. A glance at the media shows how one wrong step, word, or tweet leads to a full-scale social-media attack and demonization.

Again: It doesn’t have to be this way. I can help.

If you want to be an authentic leader, I created my workshop for you and your organization. You’ll learn to be THE LEADER willing to take risks for the greater good of the organization, and to be a POSITIVE-COMMUNICATION MODEL for your team.

The Nitty-Gritty of COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR DIVERSE WORKPLACES:

  • A highly interactive, 6-hour workshop of my researched, original content
  • Self-reflection exercises for participants
  • Teamwork in small and large groups

But this workshop isn’t for everyone. Why? Because I challenge my participants! You won’t always feel comfortable, but discomfort is where awareness and learning begin.

YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Types of bias, and how personal bias shows up in the workplace
  • Best responses to comments/behaviours you believe are offensive
  • Approaches for justifiable accusations of bias or problematic behaviour
  • How to listen and genuinely understand someone

You’ll emerge with tools and strategies to have AUTHENTIC DIALOGUES, which are the lifeblood of constructive workplace relationships.

 Want to learn more? Interested in creating a GENUINELY authentic, diverse, and inclusive workplace? If you feel you’re an authentic leader, or that you want to learn how to become one, then this workshop is for YOU.

 Contact me to deliver this important workshop to you and your group.

Contact Evelina for more details at: 519-659-4777 evelina@yourdiversityatwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serving Customers with Mental Illness with Dignity


Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work

What is the first thought that comes to your minmental healthd when you hear the term “mental illness”? You probably think about a commercial which is promoting mental health or a person you may know who is struggling with an illness. Alternatively, we may be speaking about you. What we often forget is that people with mental illness come to our organizations and businesses looking for goods and services. For some, their disorder will not impede their interactions. However, for others, they may experience barriers which prevent them from initiating or completing a transaction with you.

These individuals whose symptoms are more visible may require a heightened level of sensitivity and patience as well as an out-of-the-box type of service. According to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in Canada (CAMH), mental illness is the leading cause of disability

 

The Life and Economic Impact of Major Mental Illnesses in Canada: 2011-2041. Prepared for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, they indicate 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 is the number.

The alarming statistics indicate this is a large demographic –one that requires our attention to ensure we provide an excellent customer service experience, get their repeat business and generate customer loyalty.

Learn more about serving customers with mental illness is our issue of Your Diverse Customer Training Ezine.  The topics include:

  • What is mental illness?
  • Tips for conveying and receiving information.
  • Interview:  How to conduct how visits.
  • Template:  Customer assistance form. A tool for providing service for unpredictable customers.
  • De-escalation – Tips for avoiding potentially violent situations.
  • Application and Resources – Case Study, link to further videos and learning

Purchase your Pdf copy today!

Your Diverse Customer – Serving Customers with Mental Illness

$20.00

 

911 Call Taker Training


callerrevDo you currently work as a call taker?  Have you noticed the increase from callers who have low-English levels of proficiency? Chances are you have, as our research shows that call takers are receiving a larger call volume from this demographic.  The bad news?  You probably have never received any specific tips besides speak slowly and clearly.

This is when Diversity at Work’s training comes to the rescue.

You will learn everything on the flyer and much more.

We are pleased to report that participant evaluations consistently indicate that they feel their performance will improve as a result of taking this workshop.  The good part?  Even call takers with over 30 years of experience felt that way, too.

Call us today! We travel. Customization is available on request.

Reduce caller and call taker stress, triage calls effectively and provide a more equitable service.

To learn more about our business and the trainer, Evelina Silveira, please visit http://www.yourdiversityatwork.com.

 

Actions You Can Take To Increase Intercultural Understanding in the Workplace


By:  Evelina Silveira,  President, Diversity at Work

1. Start up a Diversity Book Club or Discussion Group    You can take turns assigning a reading which is pertinent to your work and designate a regular meeting time for your discussions. Tailor it to your industry and the specific knowledge you would like to gain.
For example:
Indian-Style of Leadership – This could help organizations who have a number of New Canadian Indian employees gain an understanding of the differences in leadership style in India. It can give leaders an awareness of what some of the challenges these employees may have based on their previous work experiences and help them become more acclimatized to a Canadian workplace.
Cultural Differences in the Way Disabilities are Communicated. The way cultural groups talk about disabilities tells us a lot about their values and how people with disabilities are treated in their communities.
Plagiarism Around the World – Understanding how different countries feel about and define plagiarism is important in preparing international students for post-secondary education.

2. Spearhead Employee Resource Groups These groups can provide valuable information to advance the goals of your organization. If you happen to have a New Canadians ERG, it can be drawn upon to provide education to the rest of the employees and make suggestions for program development and provide insight into new markets.

3. Infuse Cultural Tidbits Into Existing Vehicles of Communication Whether you have an intranet, a regular newsletter or hang up posters, don’t miss out on an opportunity to encourage cultural learning. What about your staff or departmental meetings? After all, when we learn about other cultures, we learn a lot about ourselves!

4. Examine Your Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Is there a way you can increase your interactions with some of the major cultural groups in your community? Volunteer at a settlement agency? Be a mentor? Consider sponsoring cultural events.

5. Increase or Begin to Offer Student Placements/ Co-ops Work with local agencies serving diverse clientele and post-secondary institutions to bring diverse workers to your organization. You will be amazed at how much you learn from the experience!

6. Take a Cultural Competency Inventory Ask employees if they have: knowledge of a second language, experience from work abroad and cross-cultural education. Having this information handy can be a real help when you are considering the appropriate people for foreign assignments or need some emergency assistance with a culturally diverse client who you are having difficulty communicating

Pride Is Not For Everyone


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Written by:  Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc.

Change is often a good thing. When it comes to equal rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered groups, increased awareness and advocacy has contributed to their greater inclusion in the workplace and in our communities at large.

The Pride Parade in London is not the raucous as it is in other cities notably Toronto. Just like everything in London, Ontario it is far more subdued and conservative focusing more on family, friends and allies and less as a spectacular show or tourist attraction.

Pride is about honesty, sexual expression and having a “safe space”. The parade and its other events support this freedom. But Pride is not for everyone, and participating in these events is  a choice. Agencies and businesses alike often exploit this event to advance their strategic or advocacy agendas with little thought into what it represents and who the right people should be to participate.

My business had a booth a few years ago at Pride in London, and I had a number of disturbing observations.

Arriving early in the morning, I began to set up my booth, with employees from various large and multinational corporations, falling closely behind. Setting up their tables and fleeing for the rest of the day, they only came back at the end when everything was over and ready to pack. Merely, leaving brochures and business cards, there was no intention to engage with the crowd. Yet, I surmised that the representatives were from companies who placed hundreds and thousands of dollars in sponsorship but did not have the decency to stick around. That smacks of a phony commitment to LGBT in my books!

And let’s not forget the young man in the booth next to me who was selling phallic-like hats and similar paraphernalia. Every half an hour or so he would reach over to his girlfriend and start kissing her and more. Do you suppose he might have been a little uncomfortable with attending a gay event? With all of the other opportunities one comes across in a day to safely express one’s heterosexuality, was it so necessary to do so in an event that seeks to stamp out heterosexism? I think not. As they say: “Get a room!”

Finally, a New Canadian spoke to me about the service he was getting at a local agency. He was really pleased with how they were trying to get him out of his house and make him more sociable. He recounted how he was “invited to a ceremony” in which “he was part of a parade” and given “a colourful flag”. The event was Pride in London. The man was not gay. He was a married man from the Middle East and a devout Muslim. He had no idea what he was attending. This televised event could bring a lot of grief for him. What would his family say if they see him? What might his reaction be when he finds out what he attended? Inviting clients to attend Pride Events without fully disclosing its meaning is simply: disrespectful, dishonest, irresponsible, culturally and religiously insensitive. Numbers are not everything!

Pride events often take place on weekends and evenings. Just because you don’t want to be a part of the Pride event doesn’t mean you don’t support LGBT rights. You may prefer to have stricter boundaries between your work and personal time. Additionally, if employers provide no  compensation for attending these events to support agency goals through pay or time off, they should not expect employees to take time away from their existing schedules to do one more thing for their job. Lack of participation should not be interpreted as you don’t care about LGBT rights. It could simply mean that you don’t like attending parades or that you really are pressed for time.

After all, when you compare how abysmal the attendance at Women’s Day events is: Do we interpret this as an expression of our Community’s disinterest in women’s rights? I don’t think so. Some people have different ways of showing support and advocacy. That needs to be respected.

Next time you think about having your company be a part of Pride Events, ask yourself if you are sending the best representative. Give employees a way out without judgement. If they go and feel uncomfortable, they may end up staining your corporate image like the guy in the booth who was compelled to display his heterosexuality. Be honest with what the event represents and if you plan to invite New Canadians to participate, you must take extra steps to ensure cultural sensitivity. We need to be mindful that in a good part of the world, openly gay men are still murdered, tortured and imprisoned. Going to a Pride Event may be a big leap that they are not ready to make as of yet.

 

Diversity Trainers Need To Be Real


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Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London, Publisher the Inclusion Quarterly

Diversity trainers are just like any other people: they have biases. If we are true to the work, we recognize that we need to be constantly evolving as individuals and as trainers. The process involves examining our own biases and trying to understand and reduce/eliminate them; a process which can be very humbling and worthy of sharing with our trainees. Although it makes us vulnerable, we become genuine facilitators.

Preachy diversity trainers are a turn-off for me. In my 20 years in the field of race relations, and diversity I think the worst sessions I have ever attended by trainers were ones in which they tried to make their trainees feel bad about the attitudes that they had, as if that is supposed to help them change! With cries of “Don’t be racist” or “Don’t be sexist”, these types of trainers do a lot of talking, but rarely about themselves and about their own journey when it comes to diversity and inclusion. These scripted trainers don’t appear genuine to me, having created an environment where trainees feel vulnerable if they have dissenting views.

A dynamic diversity trainer will put themselves in the trainee’s shoes, recognizing that trainees might be scared and uncomfortable with working with or serving a group of people they never had to before. There is a lot on the line. Here is an opportunity to share your story and to be authentic. They want to hear from you that it wasn’t always so easy for you either, but that it can be done. And sometimes you may even come to enjoy working in a diverse environment.

Growing up in London, Ontario which has always been considered very WASPY, my experience with diversity was primarily living and going to school with different children of European decent. I attended a Catholic school and I was never exposed to religious debates.

As kids, when we wanted to see exotic looking (non-Whites), we would dash to the school library and take a peak at the National Geographic magazines and marvel and giggle at the differences we saw.

While this may seem insensitive, this was the reality of growing up in a city where most of the people look pretty much like me. My elementary school had one black family and there were no Asians or aboriginal people. In a sea of predominately Italian kids, I was the minority. Later on, when I went to university, I met a Jew for the first time and he did not have a beard or a black hat! I also met a brilliant woman from the Chippewa reserve. That was a different experience hearing her perspective on the First Contact which was diametrically opposite to what I had learned in school.

It was a different kind of experience in which all of my beliefs were challenged for the first time and not always in the most polite way either. Sometimes it was uncomfortable, I soon came to value the ideas of others and gain friends that I would have never have made if I had not branched out into a secular school with students who had different backgrounds.

I reflect on these moments and share them with my trainees.

If we consider that many of our participants may feel uncomfortable asking certain questions that are integral to their work, then it is incumbent upon us to put them on the table and take chances. Anticipate the questions and address the elephant in the room. Again this means that you need to take risks as a trainer by presenting topics that your participants deal with on a daily basis but are afraid that they will be labelled by other trainees if they put those questions forward. Otherwise they may never ask them, and they leave the training feeling dissatisfied and maybe even cheated.

It means putting yourself out there and bringing in genuine examples and abandoning the political correctness. Your trainees will thank you for it and will be surprised that you took the chance – something many other trainers are not willing to do.

By sharing true stories of your experiences confronting bias and engaging trainees with real-life challenging and relevant examples, you will be on your way to creating a memorable, engaging and educational learning experience.

 

Quick and Easy Ideas for LGBT Workplace Inclusion


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Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc.  Author, Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget:  How to have a more engaged and innovative workforce with little or no dollars.

Pride Month is coming up and now is the time to take a look at what your organization is doing to create workplace inclusion for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered employees.  Even though I am a big supporter of LGBT inclusion in the workplace and in the community at large, sometimes I find myself stumped at what can we do in our organizations to advance the cause?  I figured that there were other people out there who likely feel how I do, but don’t know where to begin.  I did some research and I came up with a few ideas below that are really quite easy to do.  You don’t have to have a big budget, but you will see that these ideas will no doubt contribute to a more caring, engaged and productive workplace.

  • Don’t assume everyone is straight.
  • Remember to communicate a zero tolerance policy that inappropriate comments or jokes will not be allowed.
  • Keep in mind that LGBT employees often have children, spouses and partners. Show interest in their lives as well.
  • “Coming–out” is usually a risky thing to do in the workplace. When someone shares this with you, thank them for their trust in you and honour their need for privacy.
  • Convey verbally and in writing that professional development and promotional opportunities are solely based on merit.
  • When you are embarking on diversity and workplace inclusion training remember to include LGBT content.
  • Include any policies or benefits to LGBT employees on your website as you would for other groups. In the case of a global operation, it is important to let employees know how LGBT company practices and societal approaches abroad may be different if a transfer or travel is involved.
  • Don’t overlook LGBT causes when you are looking for outreach opportunities in your community. Considering the prevalence of bullying and higher levels of suicide among LGBT youth, these groups could use more resources.
  • Send out a Happy Pride Month message in your newsletter, intranet or other form of communication, just as you would with any other special month.
  • Ask employees if they have any ideas to improve LGBT inclusion in the workplace or marketing/customer service efforts to this population. These questions should be posed to your employees in general and not singling out LGBT in your organization.

 

If you would like more easy and low-cost ways to make your workplace more inclusive, consider purchasing our eBook, Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget  at http://www.yourdiversityatwork.com/ebook/ .

 

 

Tips for Avoiding Subconscious Bias In the Hiring Process


Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc.   Publisher, Inclusion Quarterly.

Let’s face it — we are human!  But when it comes to equitable hiring practices, our “humanness” can get in the way of hiring the best candidates.  There is a growing body of research that says that we are more likely to hire attractive people for certain jobs based on their appearance and not their qualifications.  Research shows that even small children think that people of colour are less trustworthy and not as friendly , and these biases continue on into adulthood and influence hiring practices.

The unfortunate reality is that the best people are often not chosen for a job because our subconscious bias gets in the way.

As a small business owner, I am conscious of this now more than ever.  I want to hire the best people, because if I don’t , I lose money and the reputation of my business.   Good people make me good as well. Business owners see and immediate connection with the bottom-line and are no doubt more likely to choose qualified people than looking for only “fit”.

It would be so easy if more people felt this way but they often don’t.   That’s why we need to build in processes to help reduce the occurrences of bias. When it comes to fair hiring practices, the key word is “structure”.  Structure allows for all members of the hiring committee to keep on track.  Problems arise when committee members “go off the script”.

Here are some tips to support the integrity of your hiring processes.

Check you biases at the door.  Remember the focus needs to be on skill rather than “fitting in”. If your goal is to hire “someone who will fit into the organizational culture” you will undoubtedly hire people who are the same as the rest and not necessarily the best employees.  Certain cultures and age groups and those with a diversity of thoughts and opinions, will be out of the running. Sometimes interviewers are afraid to hire the best because they fear losing their job to the candidate. But hiring the best people is a good indication of a progressive leadership team.

Map out your hiring process.  It is a good idea to use a flow chart or another kind of chart to identify who will be responsible for each stage in the process. Having a visual to work from will help you to see what links may need strengthening to increase the fairness of the process.  For example, one way to reduce beauty bias is to start with a preliminary online or standardized interview which removes the possibility of subjectivity.

Zoom in on the key competencies for the job, and structure the processes around it.  If your job posting requires an advanced level of technical skills in a particular area, be sure to have this tested within your screening process.

Involve multiple people in the interview process.  The screening committee should be made aware of fair hiring practices and be committed to getting the best candidate possible.

Ask the same questions of everyone.  Avoid asking extra questions of some and not of others.  You  give a candidate an unfair advantage.

Included a weighted scoring sheet.  Keep to the most important competencies and weigh them according to the job.  Relying on written responses alone is not enough.  This makes the process far too open to interpretation, bias and illegal hiring practices.  If your interview process is ever questioned by the candidate or authorities you can at least show that you had some structure in place.  Having a scoring sheet throughout the process:  recruitment, interviewing, and reference checking will cut down on the bias.  You owe it to the candidate and to the reputation of your organization to follow a structured system.

Focus on the key issues.  Can the candidate do the job? Based on their responses and prior work history, will they do the job?  If they have not done the job before, what qualities have they demonstrated in the interview process or skills have they obtained from other experiences that make the case that they can do the job.

Conduct reference checks.  Ensure that all candidates referees are asked the same questions.

Don’t forget empathy.  Looking for a job these days is harder than ever and there are so many people in need of one. Always keep in mind how you would like to be treated.  Think about how you would feel if someone less qualified got a job that should have been yours.

Multilingualism: An Essential Ingredient of Culturally Competent Healthcare


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By: Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc, Publisher, the Inclusion Quarterly

Everyday occurrences and unprocessed feelings usually form the basis of my blogs. Today’s is no different. It is Tuesday, and I am still thinking about the elderly Italian woman I saw over the weekend in a long-term care facility and left wondering: Is there a better way to meet the needs of residents who do not speak English?

I don’t know Rosa (name changed to protect her identity) but I do know that she is Italian as I recognize some of the words she yells or her conversations to imaginary people. No one understands what she is saying and nurses and attendants just continue to speak to her in English, or they ignore her completely because they just don’t know how to communicate with her. Residents will refer to her as “the crazy one” or the “one who is always screaming”. I only know a few words in Italian, but I happened to recall the expression, Che bella ragazza. I decided to look directly at her and say these words to her, checking to see if there was a response. For a moment, she paused as she appeared to hear something familiar and I only had wished I could remember more. I had just referred to her as “a beautiful girl!”  Her face temporary lit up and my heart was warmed. If only, I could have a conversation with her, I thought.

I had to wonder, what was it like for her to be in a home where no one understands her. How frightening to become invisible and voiceless. What a disappointing way to end the remaining years of one’s life.

The need for multilingual staff and volunteers is extremely important in effective healthcare delivery. As more immigrants are entering these facilities, I believe that we could be at a crisis point if we do not do more to address this issue especially in long-term care. Even though the immigrant resident may be fluent in English, for reasons I don’t understand they will often resort back to their mother tongue especially as dementia sets in.

While it may be impossible to have staff who can speak all the languages the residents do, there should be more effort made to provide care to them in their own language.

Here are some recommendations for providing more multilingual services in long-term care.

Employee Recruitment . Research the demographics of your community and include foreign language competencies in job postings based on what you find and on your current service needs.

Libraries and Print Materials. Consider purchasing or asking for donations of multilingual books, periodicals and tapes that residents can enjoy. Add international media.

Foreign Language Training.  There are many low-cost and no-cost ways of learning another language. Conduct a Google search and you’ll find many that are free.

Create a Picture Dictionary With Basic Words and Salutations. These small gestures could go a long way with keeping the resident more stimulated in addition to increasing the competencies of the employees.

We are facing unprecedented changes in healthcare and creating more culturally competent organizations do not have to be costly. Using existing community resources and becoming more innovative in the recruitment, selection and retention of employees can go a long way with developing more inclusive services.

 

 

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