HCBS Training

Making Changes To Staff Training

young Asian mand talking to older Asian man

One of the positive elements of performance-based measurement systems is that there are ways to assess when staff members are learning new skills that do not rely on the personal opinions of others. It is important for feedack to based on observation and to be objective.  Once new staff training processes are updated, coaches and mentors work with staff as they master new skills.

Teams assess the performance-based management process that is already in place.  Ideas for improving the ways in which staff members receive feedback and support are added to the action plan. Examples of changes teams can make include: 

  • Creating or modifying existing training plans for each staff member,
  • Scheduling ongoing supervision, and
  • Adding positive recognition when staff members improve their skills.

One team decided to make changes to the supervisor visits scheduled for each staff member. The team asked supervisors to schedule times to observe staff using person-centered skills and assess how well each staff applied these skills. The skills were defined using clear and specific actions that could be observed. The team updated the forms  used to track progress and record how often and well staff members used these defined skills. Each supervisor learned how to observe and write down their observations on the tracking form. Supervisors used this tool to give positive feedback to staff members using new person-centered skills. Together staff and supervisors developed a tailored plan for growth, including celebrations when new skills were mastered.  This process helped build a culture of trust because staff knew what was expected and they felt supported by their supervisor(s).  

The Module 6 Resource Page includes an observation tool and definitions for the observable actions that supervisors and staff used. These resources also include a story describing the team’s first steps in developing this approach to supervision and coaching.

  • Active Listening- Responses or body language that shows you are listening to what a person is saying
  • Nonjudgmental Responses -Language used to describe what you observe happening that is neutral and is not critical of what a  person is saying
  • Empathy - Actions that show you understand and share the emotions and feelings of another person
  • Working in Alliance with Others – Inviting people to help solve problems, make choices, and work together on tasks
  • Relationship-Building Skills – Actively seeking out information about a person’s views, background, interests, and opinions
  • Sensitivity to Language - Seeking out information about preferences people have about their disability or confirming the use of pronouns
  • Encouraging Others to Join Conversations - When staff or others support people in joining in conversations, sharing information, and joining activities during meetings or activities
  • Supporting Choices Made by People - Encouraging and supporting ways in which people can make decisions in daily life
  • Recognizing and Reinforcing Positive Social interactions – Giving positive feedback to others and highlighting what skills are being used