Synthesis Groups Descriptions1
The role of leadership in inspiring a shared vision and mission, modeling values, and building partnerships to enable positive change through the workforce were discussed. Leadership throughout the organization, with a special focus on middle managers and supervisors, was addressed.
The range of related activities in professional staff training and organizational development, including succession planning, that lead to improved skills, knowledge, and abilities that can be applied at all levels of the organization were discussed.
Structure and Culture
The way an organization does its work through its structure/chains of command, teams, roles and responsibilities, formal plans, policies, processes, goals, measures, and methods that affect outcomes for children in the system was considered. Discussion included information on characteristics, attitudes, and culture, such as perceptions, beliefs, motivations, norms, traditions, and values of staff in the child welfare workforce.
The organization's performance appraisal process is the methodology by which an organization sets expectations and provides feedback to staff on their accomplishment of tasks and fostering of relationships. Performance management discussion included workforce capacity—the organization's ability to execute its strategy through its people.
Employee relations are the method by which an organization creates a climate of safety, lawfulness, fairness, and equity for all staff, through periods of both stability and change. Employee autonomy and ability to participate in decision-making was also a topic of discussion.
The method, both intrinsic and extrinsic, by which an organization attracts, retains, and reinforces the performance and values of its staff. Staff retention was discussed.
Discussion revolved around the methods in which an organization conveys information and makes decisions, in terms of interpersonal patterns, overarching plans, and devices.
Staffing is the method by which an organization attracts, recruits, hires, orients, and supports people and talent to accomplish the organization's work. Supervisors' roles and responsibilities were discussed in terms of deployment, utilization of employees (the employee-job fit), and job re-design.
Cultural Competency and Worker Diversity
The methods by which an organization values the culture and background of the diverse populations being served and how it ensures that staff providing services to diverse communities have the knowledge, skills, and background necessary to best meet the needs of culturally diverse families and communities was highlighted. Discussion focused on how an organization ensures cultural competency.
Community can be defined as the climate - or environment - in which the organization and its workforce functions. The methods by which the organization engages the community, public and private agencies, and other parties in collaborative efforts to meet the needs of the families being served were discussed.
1 American Public Human Services Association's (APHSA) Capacity Building Framework was the basis for most of the topics. The Institute planning committee added additional topics. Back