How to successfully support and coach staff
As a supervisor, supporting your staff and spending time with your team whilst they are working with clients is a valuable way to better understand their role, and it is also an opportunity to meet clients.
Most of a home care support worker’s time is spent working alone in a client’s home or in the community – And, in certain circumstances, support workers must provide an immediate response to situations that may arise daily while working with their clients. Coaching is essential at the point of service delivery to provide the appropriate support as a supervisor.
When to coach staff in the workplace
Training staff on a regular basis in the workplace is a great way to keep your team on track and to ensure coaching is successful. When 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 the 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.
- Provide a coaching template to the staff member prior to the session, to ensure rewarding coaching. 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.
- Support staff also need to take a step back to provide opportunities for clients to practice their skills.
- 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.
- 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.
Follow-up after coaching
- 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, to ensure that the coaching was successful.
- 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.
Download your free 3-page Coaching Session interactive PDF here.