Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

Providing Good Feedback

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Good feedback is clear about what your DSW has done well or about what you would like to see improved. Feedback should be done regularly.  Don't wait until there is a problem! Click on the tabs to learn about what makes feedback effective.

Feedback should be specific. “I would like you to be sure to wipe down the counters after you prepare food” is specific feedback and tells the DSW exactly what is expected. “The kitchen needs to be cleaned better” is not specific.

Feedback should happen as soon as possible when you see something happening or not happening. This is true for positive feedback as well as for feedback aimed at improving performance. If your DSW did a great job, tell them right away!

Think about what is most important to you to have quality supports. Tie feedback to your expectations about the DSW’s job performance. Always be sure that you have communicated your expectations to your DSW. For example, if it is important to you to get to appointments in a timely manner, then feedback should reflect your expectation of being on time.

When you provide feedback, give the DSW examples of what you want them to do. For example, if your DSW needs to improve their skills related to grooming, tell them exactly how you want them to assist you with dressing or shaving.

Giving feedback, especially when someone needs to do something better, can be uncomfortable. You might worry about how the person will react. Things do not get better if you do not speak up. If you are direct but kind with your feedback with the intention of helping the DSW be good at their job, it will go better. 

Listening is an important part of providing feedback. Ask the DSW how they might solve the problem. DSWs might have ideas for a better way to provide supports. Approach their ideas with an open mind. You don’t have to always adopt their ideas, but people like to feel heard and have their ideas recognized.