Managing a healthcare facility or a healthcare organization with diverse and multicultural employees requires an exquisite and well updated policies and procedures. These would become the governing principle and plan that guides every action, stating what should and how should an action be done. But before an organization put up these policies and procedures, it should first have clarified its organizational aims and with the help of these policies and procedures, fulfilment of these aims will follow.
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Organizational aims are the goals or objectives that an organization seeks to achieve. It is something that an organization has envisioned to happen. And in order to meet its aim the organization then has to establish the mechanisms it will use in order to achieve those ends, draw up some plan and come up with a strategy. By setting aims or objectives, organizations give themselves a sense of purpose and direction. This provides a frame of reference around which to create their plans. With an overall plan in place, a company or organization can set particular targets and monitor its progression towards reaching them.
In a healthcare setting, one of the most important factors to consider in setting up an aim is that everybody’s right would be equal especially in a healthcare institution with differences in employees’ culture and with diverse nationalities. The best example of an aim with this kind of setting would be to provide diversity and equality to all in employment regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, age, nationality and national origin, disabilities, sexuality, religion or belief, social class as well as marital status. Organizational aim should also include opposition to any form of unlawful and unfair discrimination. Example of this would be the fair or equal treatment to all employees, whether part-time, full-time or just temporary. Even those with disabilities, male or female or anyone with different gender orientation should be treated with respect. Another important aim of an organization that promotes equality is giving the same opportunities for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit to everybody. Everybody will be justified on the basis of their ability and disposition not because of the differences in age, races and other areas of discrimination. For example is that age shouldn’t be a matter in choosing who the organization will employ. Everybody in different ages should be welcomed and given opportunities because it doesn’t always mean that the older the age, the lesser the ability to learn new things or the older the greater experience. It should be the organization’s purpose to encourage and help all the employees to develop their full potential for them to exercise their talents and resources. This will lead to full utilization of the workforce and creative innovations of employees will be fully utilised and also, the efficiency of the organisation will be maximised. Having these aims and objectives in an organization will definitely address disparities in every individual and will lead to a culturally sensitive and globally competitive organization.
Addressing inequalities and disparities in a workplace is not an easy task but as long as the organization or institution sticks or would not lose sight to its goal of promoting equality and diversity then everything will fall to its place.
Reaching organizational aims requires organizational commitment. The level of employee’s commitment greatly affects the system of the whole organization. Organizational commitment to promote employees’ well-being in a workplace should be a must for every organization. It serves as the guide of an organization of its obligation to every employee with which, should be leading to equality and diversity principles and policies. Moreover, this also has an effect on whether the employee will remain with the organization and to perform with greater effectiveness.
A healthcare organization commitment should be based on its organizational aim. Its commitment is to build an environment in which individual disparities and the contributions of all the staff are acknowledged and are given importance. Every employee is entitled to a work in an environment that uplifts the dignity and respect to all and no form of coercion, bullying or persecution will be tolerated. The healthcare organization should also be in charge of continuity of progress and development of employees through provision of trainings or in house seminars. This would help them become more confident and knowledgeable in every aspect of the organization system which will then make them an effective part of it.
WRITING EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY
Equality policy reflects the commitment of an organization to equal opportunities. It is an assurance for all employees and also to potential employees that they will be treated fairly and considerately. Developing equality policy is one of the important factors in building a sustainable organization. It gives forth on rich diversity of society and provides equal favourable circumstances for everyone involved.
What is an equality policy? An Equality Policy is a written statement showing that an organisation actively opposes discrimination. It demonstrates commitment to making the organisation a fully accessible and inclusive place that welcomes and respects diversity. All organisations must be apprehensive of their legal obligations regarding discrimination by reviewing it in various Acts of Parliament.
In writing equality and diversity policies, the management committee should engage employees and everyone involved in an organization. It should be developed in consultation with them and it should be supported by everyone in the organization. This will enable the organization to develop a more inclusive and comprehensive policy addressing equality issues which will also make its implementation easier.
The policy of the organization should have four distinct parts. The policy should contain a statement of the organization’s aim to encourage, value and manage diversity, specifically there is no harassment and bullying; the commitment to provide equality for all and also the intention to take constructive ways to encourage cooperation. Moreover, the list of objectives that the organization seeks to achieve and the procedures to take the aims into action should also be included in the policy. Most importantly, it should be monitored, evaluated and reviewed upon certain amount of times. The areas of discrimination that an organization will counter should then be identified. These are usually age, disability, physical appearance, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national origin), religion or belief (including philosophical belief), sex and sexual orientation. In the organization’s policy statement, it should recognize that there are certain people or group of people in the society who are discriminated and that it is opposed to it and will take steps to counter it. Objectives in every organization may vary but it may include ensuring that all workers and management committee receive training on issues about equality and diversity and no one experiences discrimination, bullying or harassment of any sort.
What about the action plan? Without an action plan with regular monitoring and reviews to back it up, no matter how well-written the policy is, there is no way of ensuring it has any significance. The action should be detailed on about what will be done, when it should be done and by whom. The organization should set dates on when they will do monitoring, reviewing procedures, and training. Setting out minimum standards of behavior and making sure everyone is aware of them is an important procedure. The organization should also develop procedures for dealing with breaches of the code like grievance policies, harassment or bullying policies and if somebody had breached it, there should be a corresponding consequence. The organization should also establish programs providing equality and diversity training to everyone and they should be aware and be familiar with the procedures so that they will also know what is expected of them when they are implemented.
Equality and diversity policy must be monitored continually by which statistical information is collected and results are evaluated. The purpose of monitoring is to enable you to examine how the policy and action plan are working and if they are not working well the organization can make necessary revisions to put it right. Monitoring involves gathering individual personal information on the diversity of potential recruits or existing employees and comparing and analyzing this against other groups of employees in the organization. This monitoring poses a problem as workers are not obliged to provide information about them so one way to gather information could be done through confidential surveys and questionnaires.
Policy should clearly state as who will be responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the policies and how often it should be done.
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