Workforce Transformation: A Cultural Improvement Initiative for Direct Support Professionals.

Workforce transformation is an organizational culture improvement initiative. It requires organizations to understand and participate in continuous quality improvement at every level of the agency. It requires training Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) but it is much more than a training program. Workforce Transformation is a new way of thinking. It requires a commitment of respect and competence. This commitment must start from the top of the organization, through management, and down to the newest employee.

Workforce Transformation and Culture

Culture is a dynamic that surrounds leadership and everyone else in the organization. However, if a leader does not manage culture, culture will continue to manage everyone. This will leave everyone with a helpless feeling. In the end, culture isn’t someone else’s job. Culture is everyone’s responsibility. Culture is not morale. Rather, morale is the prevailing temperament in a culture. One cannot cheer up a culture by trying to boost its disposition. The disposition is a by-product or symptom of the culture itself.

Culture is the environment we work in, the common air we breathe, the medium of expectations, values we take for granted, unwritten guidelines for getting along, collective memories, and the effects of historical experiences. Culture is the way it feels to work in a certain organization. It is the organization’s personality. An organization's culture has a strong impact on its perception. Organizational culture is stronger than the organization's policies and procedures. Perceptions can become more positive if leadership is willing to name what’s wrong, what’s right, and commit to doing the right thing.

RCWT Resources for Workforce Transformation

The Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation (RCWT) encourage organizations to commit to workforce capacity building in a number of ways and at different levels in the workforce. RCWT offers trainings to DSPs on how to best implement nationally validated standards for community support for people with disabilities (i.e. NADSP Code of Ethics, Core Competencies). RCWT also provides trainings and resources to administrators, frontline supervisors, and other leaders on how to best support their staff in becoming more efficient and effective with service delivery.

Cultural improvement is a big job from which no one is exempt. Therefore, training and development should occur at all levels of an organization. In order to maintain this organizational culture, the RCWT facilitate sustainable networks of providers and workforce champions. Out champions are constantly engaged in the sharing, development, and implementation of best practices for building workforce capacity.

For more information on how to implement Workforce Transformation within your organization, please take a look at our Workforce Transformation Training Series.

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