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Culture Change at Country’s Largest Home Health Agency Profiled

January 5, 2012

A new joint publication of PHI and the Pioneer Network details how Partners in Care (PIC), the country’s largest home health agency, changed its culture, increased staff morale, and lowered turnover.

The profile (pdf) explains how PIC’s decision to participate in the PHI Center for Coaching Supervision and Leadership (CCSL) affected the entire agency.

“Coaching Supervision has transformed the culture of this organization,” said PIC president Marki Flannery. “Relationships between office-based supervisors and home health aides are much more positive.”

Based in New York City, PIC employs more than 9,500 home health aides and serves more than 20,000 clients each year.

Coaching Training Gets Results

PIC’s culture-change journey began in 2006, when it agreed to participate in CCSL. Several managers were trained in the core skills of PHI Coaching SupervisionSM, which include active listening, collaborative problem solving, and nonjudgmental communication.

Later, those managers trained several hundred of PIC’s supervisors, instilling the lessons of coaching throughout the organization. Currently, PIC is trying to train all 9,500 of its home health aides in the communication skills involved in the PHI Coaching ApproachSM.

“Coaching Supervision has transformed the culture of this organization.”
Marki Flannery, President, Partners in Care

The infusion of PHI Coaching Supervision into the organization has produced clear benefits, detailed in the case study.

Supervisory staff turnover has dropped dramatically to around 14 percent, down from more than 32 percent in 2006, the year PIC began its involvement with CCSL.

Home health aides are also experiencing stronger relationships with their supervisors, according to both survey data and anecdotal evidence. “Supervisors now listen to you more,” said Pauline Smith, a home health aide who has been at PIC for 12 years. “You’ll have a complaint, and the supervisors are more attentive to you and what you have to say. That way, we get better results.”

Supervisors at PIC also say that aides have been able to deliver better care to clients, due to both their enhanced communication skills and the newfound sense that they are truly valued by PIC management. “If the aides feel more valued…their whole approach with their clients is going to be [changed], and the clients are probably having a better experience,” Flannery said.

— by Matthew Ozga

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