People are the most important part of an organisation, and picking the right staff and qualities in delivering services often leads to a happier and more effective workplace.
Healthcare Channel has reached out to Rosy Walia, the CEO and Company Secretary of Multicultural Care, to share her insights into the importance of investing in people in an organisation.
Dr Rosy Walia is a social science doctorate holder and is a recognised authority in the delivery of multicultural services. With over 20 years of senior management experience in the community sector, Rosy has gained experience in liaising with a diverse range of individuals, community groups, service providers and government departments.
It is her belief that effective public relations skills are essential in achieving appropriate outcomes.
In this interview, Rosy discusses how picking a great staff would impact an organisation.
HCC: What is the importance of investing in people as part of your practice in Multicultural Care?
Rosy: Our people are what makes our business successful. The quality of our services depends on the quality of each and every interaction that our staff have with clients. If our staff are caring, committed, skilled and have a positive attitude, then our clients will experience high-quality services.
In this industry, there is a high degree of risk and accountability and so it is vital that processes are tightly managed and monitored.
At the same time, we aim to build a work culture that supports and values staff, invests in their professional development, and recognises their need for work-life balance. This enables us to attract and maintain a workforce that is skilled and committed.
HCC: How do you ensure respect and service excellence in a diverse community?
Rosy: Our front-line staff are the face of the organisation and I have always emphasised that above anything, a caring, respectful attitude, appreciation for diversity, and a passion for the work are the most important qualities because these are qualities that can’t be learned on a training course.
While English proficiency is important, we also highly value the ability to speak a language other than English and bring first-hand cultural knowledge to the role.
We also ensure that all staff complete cultural awareness training and practice cultural sensitivity. At the last count, over 90% of our staff spoke a language other than English, with 30 languages spoken among the team. Almost 100% of our clients speak a language other than English with around 40 languages represented.
We are very proud of our diversity and take every opportunity to celebrate the cultural richness of our community and our organisation.
Find out more about our upcoming event: Aged Care Week: The Future of Aged Care
HCC: You have been the CEO and Company Secretary of Multicultural Care for over 15 years. What has made you passionate about working in the aged care sector?
Rosy: I am passionate about this industry because I firmly believe we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to have a positive impact on people’s lives. I strongly believe that as a society we should treat people with dignity and respect and support their quality of life as they age.
Let’s face it, no matter what cultural background we are from, we all aspire to live a long, happy, and purposeful life but it is a fact of life that most of us will need some sort of assistance to achieve this as we grow older.
My passion for aged care can probably be traced back to my cultural background. I was born in India and moved to Australia almost 25 years ago. In India older relatives are cared for at home, usually living in multigenerational homes. They continue to have an important role to play in the family, remaining the head of the family and always consulted on family matters.
This means that older people are respected, socially engaged, have a sense of belonging and a valued role in society, all of which are essential for well-being and quality of life.
Australian society is structured differently. Value is placed on a person’s ability to earn money through paid work, and consequently, older people and people with disability are often marginalised and made to feel like a costly burden on society. There are also many pressures on Australian families that make it difficult to care for relatives at home.
For these reasons, high-quality home care services fulfil a vital function enabling people to remain living at home – active, engaged, purposeful and in control of their lives.
HCC: As CEO of Multicultural Care, what are your plans for the organisation moving forward?
Rosy: Looking to the future, we will continue to build our expertise in relevant areas, such as increasing our knowledge and skills in working with new and emerging migrant communities.
Hand in hand with this, we aim to be an employer of choice for people from diverse communities, promoting equitable employment opportunities and building a workforce that is representative of the clients we serve.
We will also seek to have a stronger voice in sector policy and program design, advocating for improved access to mainstream aged and disability services for people from culturally diverse backgrounds.