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Workplace design to accommodate cultural needsThis means designing the workplace with specific adaptations/facilities that will accommodate the specific cultural needs of those people using it.Their cultural needs may refer to things like:Places of worship – having designated places or allowing them time for prayer.Dietary requirements.Workplace policyPolicies may need to be adapted to accommodate cultural differences; these policies may include:Workplace dress – allowing them to wear religiously required clothing.Socially appropriate behaviourRelationships in the workplace
P a g e | 58Ethical behaviourVerbal behaviourNon-verbal behaviour.These policies can be used as guidance to behaviour in the workplace. Reference groupsHaving a group of experts as a liaison between your organisation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is a good way to identify which resources are required to meet their needs. This group of experts will also likely contain Elders, who speak for and are respected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.Developing effective relationshipsProfessional relationships between Aboriginal and/or Torres straitIslander co-workers/clients and the rest of the workforce need to beworked at and specific strategies should be employed in orderdevelop and maintain them.Strategies for developing effective relationships mayinclude:Negotiation of roles and responsibilities in the workplaceDevelopment, monitoring and review of culturally safe work practicesIdentification of and consultation with key contact people such as Aboriginal liaison officersDisplay empathy appropriatelyBe flexible Develop the capacity to take turns – stand back wait for your turn.Negotiation of roles and responsibilities in the workplaceHaving clearly defined roles and responsibilities allows people to be accountable for their actions and limits the potential for arguments. People know what is expected of them and what to expect from others. This also ensures that people don't overstep their boundaries and makes it easier for teams to work cohesively.From the clients' perspective, it makes it easier for them to identify who they need to communicate and to have their needs met.Development, monitoring and review of culturally safe work practicesAs previously mentioned, work practices must be developed to be culturally safe – they then need to be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
P a g e | 59To recap, culturally safe practices must not diminish, demean or disempower the cultural identity and wellbeing of an individual. You must look at all required practices in the workplace and check that they meet the cultural needs and requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.