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A Leadership Training Center That Achieved Widespread Impact Across Care Settings

The Opportunity

By training supervisors to adopt a non-punitive, problem-solving approach to supervising direct care staff, we can enhance working relationships, reduce turnover, and improve care outcomes.

Our Partners

Through the Center for Coaching Supervision and Leadership (CCSL), PHI worked with 31 organizations in 14 states, including nursing homes, continuing care retirement communities, and home- and community-based service providers.

What We Did

We introduced the PHI Coaching Supervision® model to all participating organizations through train-the-trainer workshops, as well as providing education and coaching for executive leaders, establishing cross-functional teams to guide implementation, and hosting on-site PHI Coaching Supervision trainings and “boosters” at select sites. We also held peer gatherings and educational seminars for trainers, an executive leader summit, and a closing conference.

Who Was Involved

More than 2,000 supervisors and 3,000 direct care staff were trained by 98 PHI-trained Coaching Supervision trainers across the participating sites from 2006 through 2010.

The Results

In the follow-up evaluation, 77 percent of trained supervisors reported that they often or always practiced PHI Coaching Supervision at work, and 18 percent reported that they sometimes employed this approach. Thirty percent of supervisors and managers also reported that “time [spent] solving other employees’ problems” had decreased, and qualitative data confirmed staff’s increased capacity to solve problems on their own. The cost savings associated with these organizational efficiencies were estimated at an average of $6,000 per supervisor. One provider independently documented improved care outcomes across a range of indicators, including: falls and urinary tract infection rates, residents using nine or more different medications, residents with an increased need for help with daily activities, and high-risk residents with pressure ulcers.

Lessons Learned

The success of the CCSL project in improving supervision, problem-solving, and communications skills among thousands of staff exceeded expectations. Elements of success included “champions” at the leadership level; a competent, enthusiastic, and stable group of trainers; and a “critical mass” of trained staff sharing a common approach. To sustain the project benefits, six sites changed their policies and procedures to align with the PHI Coaching Approach and seven sites invested their own resources in further implementation.

“Coaching Supervision has transformed the culture of this organization. Relationships between our office-based supervisors and home health aides are much more positive… even the office is quieter.” – Marki Flannery, then-President of Partners in Care

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