Enlisting the Involvement of Front-Line Supervisors

When the support of executive personnel has been assured, the next step is for the clinician and one or more agency executives to meet with the front-line supervisors of direct support staff. Having executive representatives of the agency attend at least the initial meeting with frontline supervisors can highlight the importance of changing to more meaningful activities. Their attendance also can lend authority to the clinician’s efforts to promote supervisor involvement in the change process.

Subsequently, the meeting with front-line supervisors should include four components. The first component involves presenting supervisors with the rationale for the necessity of changing to more meaningful activities. This can occur in the same manner as with the preceding meeting with executive personnel. The second component then involves familiarizing supervisors with the guidelines for meaningful tasks. A written handout of the guidelines should be provided to each supervisor along with examples of meaningful and nonmeaningful tasks. The clinician should discuss the guidelines and draw the supervisors’ attention to examples illustrating each guideline’s application in differentiating between meaningful and nonmeaningful tasks.

The third component involves providing an overview of the process for making changes and highlighting the need for the supervisors’ involvement in the process. It should be stressed that the supervisors’ role is critical in assisting direct support staff to select activities that need to be changed, generating ideas for new activities, obtaining materials, and holding the staff accountable for implementing the necessary changes. Finally, the fourth component involves stressing to supervisors that without their continued involvement, lasting improvements in the activities will be unlikely.

Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Staff Training

and Supervision Plan

  • 1. Identify the lead change agent
  • 2. Enlist the support of agency executive staff
  • 3. Enlist the involvement of front-line supervisors of direct support staff in carrying out the plan
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