Clinical Supervisors as Coaches - CASE STUDY

Issue: The Problem

A large state-based community sector organisation was implementing changes to its performance review process. For this initiative to be effective clinical supervisors needed to manage difficult conversations with probationary staff. This was at odds with the usual parameters of their role. The changes were not being implemented and this was creating conflict in the organisation.

Ideas: Our Thinking

We understood that the tasks of management and supervision of clinical practice were clearly differentiated areas of work. We allocated the project to a specialist on our team with expertise in human service organisations and clinical practice. We hypothesised that any solution must involve a fundamental re-think of the performance process with regard to the tasks of management and supervision.

Innovation: What We Did

We implemented an action research process with the organisation to unpack the dilemma and create solutions. We worked to clarify roles and link specific tasks to the new performance review process. The program began with a half-day workshop followed by small group coaching on real life scenarios.

Impact: The effect

The program assisted in 

  • clarifying the tasks and roles of supervisors and managers in the performance cycle
  • differentiating and aligning the work of managers and supervisors
  • enhancing the skills of managers and supervisors in conducting performance discussions
  • creating positive experiences of probationary staff reviews
  • minimising conflict and resistance regarding the new performance review process

The changes were not being implemented and this was creating conflict in the organisation.

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