Why is it important to coach direct support staff?
As a supervisor, spending time with your team while they are “on the job” is a valuable way to better understand their role.
In the case of providing home care, it also provides another opportunity to meet with a client in their home. Coaching staff within the workplace provides benefits not only to the staff member but to the client’s experience – which can have a positive impact on the organisation overall.
Most of a home care support worker’s time is spent working alone in a client’s home or in the community. Home care support workers have to provide an immediate response to situations that may arise daily while working with their clients.
Coaching at the point of service delivery is essential to providing the appropriate support as a supervisor. In the case of delivering Wellness and Reablement, support is vital to the success of a client meeting their goals.
When to use coaching of staff in the workplace?
If workplace coaching is adapted as a regular performance process within an organisation and not just when ‘something goes wrong’, acceptance of the process increases. As it becomes embedded in an organisation’s culture, the experience is welcomed and not met with fear, anxiety, or negativity.
Instead, staff will feel supported and valued. Relationships and engagement between both staff and supervisor are enhanced and will have an impact on the quality and quantity of ongoing communication between all participants.
Tips for successful coaching
- Ensure you’re confident in coaching staff delivering the wellness and reablement approach. If not, seek support from others to enhance your understanding.
- Understand how support staff delivering wellness and reablement need to respond to clients. Support staff also need to take a step back to provide opportunities for clients to practice their skills.
- Make meeting your coaching sessions schedule a priority.
- Ensure staff, clients and any other participants are aware of date, time and focus of the coaching session.
- Provide a coaching template to the staff member prior to the session. This gives them an opportunity to ask questions about what you will be observing.
- Provide the opportunity for the staff member to lead the session. For example, introductions or an explanation of how they would normally proceed or gain information from a client about their goals.
- If a challenging situation arises, provide the opportunity for support staff to initiate a problem-solving process first. Try not to step in unless asked or the situation requires your input.
- Unless the staff member crosses the boundaries of their role or are putting the client or themselves at risk, try not to intervene. Instead, provide encouragement and guidance.
- Provide sufficient time (but not too long) after the coaching session for the staff member to reflect and complete their section of the template.
- Complete your section and schedule a time to meet and discuss your feedback, staff member reflection and any actions as an outcome of the session. Give the staff member the opportunity to provide their feedback first.
- When providing your feedback, acknowledge their reflection and identify where you agreed. Follow up with additional positive feedback and then observations made that didn’t meet the requirements of the role (if any). Together, discuss any actions required such as additional training, coaching sessions and or follow up with client.
- When an action/s has been decided, ensure a follow-up date is identified and follow through on the same.
Steps to follow when developing a support plan
Coaching of staff is creating a shared understanding about what needs to be done and how, ensuring clients have the best experience possible when receiving support within the home. Below are some steps which will assist to provide an effective coaching session:
To review and download this Coaching Session A4 interactive PDF, click on the image.