phicase2webMonadnock Developmental Services has been highlighted in a series of case studies that showcase exemplary employers in the eldercare/disability services industry. During the past two years, MDS has actively engaged its staff in the PHI Coaching ApproachSM, which uses a relationship-based, “train the trainer” path to strengthen direct care workers. The PHI Coaching Approach promotes five core skills – active listening; self-management and self-reflection; clear, nonjudgmental communication, and collaborative problem solving. In 2010, MDS received a grant through DirectConnect and the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, and jumped headlong into the process. In two years, more than 250 staff members at every level of the organization have been trained. Click here to read the full study.

PHI_Case_StudyAlan Greene, MDS executive director, strives to instill a culture of respect at the organization. “For many years, we’ve been using the Gentle Teaching approach to help our DSPs work more effectively with individuals,” he explains. “This opportunity to incorporate specific process-oriented PHI Coaching tools with our staff to establish a relationship-based philosophy has been timely.”

Results for staff and individuals have been very promising, which is what prompted PHI to highlight MDS in its case studies of success.

When up against a tricky situation or issue, staff members find themselves stopping to ask: “How can I use my PHI skills here?” Meaningful conversations and problem-solving among teams are becoming the rule rather than the exception.

Much of the success of the program has been the result of committed leadership. Jessica O’Connor, MDS training coordinator, has led the charge by training staff, trainers and peer mentors. It is these peer mentors, providing ongoing training and support to DSPs, who are the key to sustaining this relationship-based process. Jessica’s energy, organizational skills and natural talents also ensure the program’s effectiveness.

Because of this success in embedding coaching approach skills into the culture of MDS, PHI has chosen MDS along with four other national organizations as a pilot site for another grant that continues the training with a focus on building teams.

MDS will continue to use PHI and Gentle Teaching as the organization moves forward with its goal to provide innovative, high quality care based on mutual relationships between workers and the people supported by MDS.

Click here to read the full case study.