There are two main reasons why you can no longer ignore training your workforce.
1) Recruitment for Disability Support Workers has never been a bigger issue than it is today.
The 2022 NDS State of the Sector report highlighted that 83% of service providers found it difficult to recruit qualified Disability Support Workers, and 56% stated they found it difficult to retain these staff. Providers highlighted that “award pay rates do not acknowledge the level of skill required by DSWs…. we cannot afford to pay above award rates therefore constantly struggle to attract qualified and experienced staff and retain them”.
2) Organisations are walking a tightrope of balancing quality service delivery within small margins.
You can’t pay more, nor can you afford to not have quality staff. Investing in an Employee Value Promise that focuses on training and developing your front line is the answer. From boosting their job satisfaction to filling in the skills and knowledge needed to perform higher-level tasks, training opportunities allow a team to be more driven towards providing a superior service, uplifting their professional goals and reducing the likelihood of burn out.
A common sentiment in the current market is “why should I invest in training people when they then leave”. The answer is what happens if you don’t train them and they stay? Studies have found that training increases employee engagement and organisational performance. Gallup reported that disengagement at work can lead to 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability.
But how do you prioritise front-line learning, growth and ultimately excellence, when you are struggling to fill the shifts you have and the employees don’t have the bandwidth to absorb an additional three hours of training in a standard work week?
You break it up and leverage off the adult learning principles. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, 74% of employees want to learn during their spare time at work.
Adults also want to feel like they are in charge of their own learning. They want it to be relevant to what they do on a daily basis and they want it to make their life easier.
The Supporting Potential Learning Management System allows your team to break up their daily core responsibilities and routine. Each module is aligned to the NDIS Practice standards and can be completed in under 20 minutes on a mobile phone or desktop computer.
We understand that support workers, have to wear many hats – a professional but also a companion, coach, educator and community bridge-builder. So much of the support worker role is based on individual needs, which are case by case. It’s important our front line teams can develop life skills to make good decisions as a Support Worker to meet your client’s needs.
Our training modules are designed to challenging traditional ‘care’ methods and to embrace new ways of thinking. It also allows them to shift their focus onto something new and different.
Below example highlighting active support in our Person Centred Support module.
This isn’t a simple sell of a learning platform. It is encouragement to redesign how you are engaging with your front line workforce. Remember the following steps:
Adult learners resist learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas or actions on them.
They need to feel in control of how and when they learn. You need to give your team the choice of when to log on and learn at a time convenient to them. As the training courses are short, you can simply add fifteen minutes of time onto a person’s roster each week. This is unlikely to result in any expensive award breaches but gives your team the freedom and flexibility to invest in their own learning, whilst the organisation is sending a clear message that learning is valued and constantly encouraged.
Adults like to solve problems and think things through for themselves.
It is more likely that they will remember the information if they have had to apply it to a realistic workplace scenario. To ensure the training your team will spend time on meets this requirement, we have heavily invested in co-design, specifically:
- The people with a disability and what they need their support team to know
- The regulators about what they demand your staff know
- Other Support Workers for what they feel they need to know
Our programs have gone through repeated reviews with different people who review services and those that deliver. We have used this feedback to inform our training content. For example, when someone questioned the relevance of a specific piece of information, we tested the sentiment with others. If it wasn’t relevant- we removed it
Instead of emphasising training programs as compulsory for employees, position it as a reward.
Free training at work can open up new work opportunities for your staff. Our Learning management platform is still in its infancy but we are quickly building levels of training allowing your team to take their support career in any direction they choose.
Requiring employees to take uniform training programs.
Even when the training won’t enhance their job performance or career prospects, this can result in frustration. Currently, almost every frontline employee has a skills gap in the practice standards and what they mean for everyday operation. It’s important to give your team an opportunity to learn the structural drivers for why they do what they do as well as areas thinking differently. This allows you to better motivate them and achieve the best training outcomes.
These are high level overviews of the considerations of adult learning and engagement, they are however tried and tested and easily implementable. Contact us for more details and an obligation free assessment.