Key Elements of Ongoing Training: Coaching and Mentoring
It is important to coach and mentor staff while they are learning new skills. After staff are introduced to new information, they need time to try new skills, observe how a practice is used in everyday work settings, and talk to coaches about what they are learning .
Coaches share new tools and skills with staff directly. There are two coaching models. Sometimes a coach has mastered person-centered practices so they can teach new skills. These coaches share their experience and guide staff in learning new skills. Another type of coach includes staff members who are still learning and are not yet considered an expert. These coaches are peers who are a little further along in the learning process and can help support new staff.
Mentors are experts in a practice who may be certified to provide a specific type of training. Some mentors have spent a great deal of time mastering skills related to person-centered practices or other positive supports. Teams use mentors to make sure their practices are being implemented with fidelity. Make sure you fully understand what type of training your coaches and mentors need in order to make effective and sustainable change in the HCBS provided.
Key Elements of Coaching and Mentoring
- Selection – Seek out coaches who are champions of a practice, are outgoing, and enjoy working with others
- Background Understanding - Help coaches feel more confident in the skills they are coaching
- Ongoing Instruction - Coaches need ongoing training to update and improve their skills in person-centered practices and in how to coach people
- Selection – Seek out mentors with experience and skills that fit unique type of services you provide. Choose mentorship methods that fit the characteristics of your organization
- Monitoring Progress – Ask mentors how they will oversee the progress of staff (including, if applicable, any coaches whose work they oversee)
- Ongoing Instrution- Make sure that mentors share with the team how they are staying updated on practices by learning new information and working to improve their own skills.
Items 23 and 24 of the Minnesota Team Checklist cover issues related to coaching and mentoring. Coaches and mentors need plans for maintaining and furthering their own skills in person-centered and positive support practices over time. Assess when coaches and mentors have last used the skills they are supporting others to learn, and make sure there is a plan in place to supply the organization with as many coaches and mentors to fill anticipated needs. Small HCBS providers may reach out to regional mentors or send someone from their own organization to become a mentor. If a team uses coaches or mentors from outside the organization, be sure to ask how they are maintaining and expanding their skills. This information is needed to complete the Minnesota Team Checklist.
Please use the MN Team Checklist and the HCBS Planning Tool to complete the activity.
Minnesota Team Checklist. Items number 23 and 24 in Staff Performance and Development section.
- 23: Plan is in place for ensuring trainers are in place to maintain person-centered and positive support practices. Score the checklist: 0 – planning not yet started, 1 – in progress, or 2 – fully in place.
- 24: Trainers supporting staff continue to expand their own skills and receive updates as practices change or improve. Score the checklist: 0 - planning not yet started, 1 - in progress, or 2 - fully in place.
- Checklist item 23: Plan is in place for ensuring trainers are in place to maintain person-centered and positive support practices.
- Checklist item 24: Trainers supporting staff continue to expand their own skills and receive updates as practices change or improve.
How will your team address or create a plan for developing or accessing trainers, coaches, and mentors? How will you ensure this plan is sustained over time?
How will you ensure trainers, coaches, and mentors will grow in their learning? How will trainers, coaches, and mentors stay up-to-date on practices?
If you haven't already done so please use these links to access the tools.