5 Ways To Attract The Best Support Workers

Key takeaways
5 Ways To Attract The Best Support Workers

The secret to attracting and retaining the very best support workers

We want to share our secrets for attracting and retaining the very best support workers. We are doing this because Ascend Health is on a mission to raise the standard of disability services in our community by reinventing the way disability services are provided. So how are we achieving this and what can other disability service providers do to attract the very best talent? Read on to hear 5 ways we break rules and do things a little differently to your typical disability agency.

We only hire university health science students as Support Workers

The biggest challenge service providers face is the high burnout rate amongst support workers. This is largely due to the demanding and challenging work that support workers carry out on a daily basis. To combat this, we only hire university health science students as our Support Workers and embrace the turnover. The reason behind this is that students dedicated to studying health and therapy related degrees are motivated to help others. 

This model provides a win-win solution. Participants are provided with passionate and skilled workers whilst university students gain flexible work and receive on-the-job experience under the guidance and mentorship of therapists. At Ascend Health, these students work alongside our fully-qualified allied health professionals to deliver an exceptional level of service. 

We embrace mistakes and adopt the growth mindset

Like most companies, here at Ascend Health, if something goes wrong, we take ownership and learn from our mistakes. However, what sets us apart is that instead of thinking about what rules we should put in place to avoid the mistake from happening in the future, we think about what training we can put in place to up-skill and build confidence amongst our staff. We feel so strongly about this that at the end of year celebrations we hand out the Raspberry Award. This is a celebration of the support workers that have taken ownership of a mistake and have grown from it. 

Another key difference at Ascend Health, is that we do not rely on managers or coordinators; we empower our health professionals to guide, train, and assist support workers. We see failure as a good thing as it gives us more information and more opportunities for growth than what success does. We are lifelong learners and the career development pathway at Ascend Health facilitates this.

We don't wear uniforms

We don't wear uniforms, but set a very high dress standard. Think of a polished professional heading into a business meeting. This means that whatever style of dress our support workers opt for, they will always be the best dressed person in the community. We steer away from wearing clothing that identifies staff as working for Ascend Health such as a company branded t-shirt or name tag. This is to ensure our clients are not easily identified as someone with a disability, but just another community member. 

Another reason for such a high standard of professional appearance is to help our support workers prepare for their careers as therapists. Our support workers leave Ascend as some of the most informed and well-trained graduates of their class (and are extremely employable).

We pay our Support Workers to be trained

Our Support Workers are allied health students dedicated to a career in the disability health care sector. We understand their time is important and we value their commitment to educate themselves in the disability industry. To support them on the career pathway, we pay our Support Workers to attend extensive training in disability, NDIS and community care. In a 12 month period, our Support Workers will complete 50 modules at our monthly “Ascend Assembly’s” led by our therapy team. Instead of a week-long lump of training at the start of their employment, we spread it out over a year to ensure there's adequate time to put the learning into practice.

Our Support Workers are mentored by qualified healthcare professionals.

With over 100 employees at Ascend Health, we are committed to supporting each and every one through guidance, supervision and mentorship. However, we believe that most disability service providers end up 'top heavy', with unnecessary management roles taking up too many resources. Our model of investing in empowering our support workers to manage their own workload has proved much more reliable. We've removed as many layers of middle management and rely heavily on customised software so that our team of support workers and therapists are as efficient as possible. 

So how does our structure look? Our support workers and members are segmented into teams throughout Perth. Each team has a Team Leader that is responsible for onboarding and supervising each team of support workers. The team leaders are then directly supervised by a qualified health care professional. And that's it. The therapist coordinates with all the members and ensures that the teams run efficiently. This allows Ascend Health to operate a very lean business model and focus more on quality than quantity.

If you’ve found this useful, please find us on all the major social channels and give us a follow. If you’re curious about working for Ascend Health, give us a call and we’d be happy to have a chat. We’re growing quickly and should have a role that would suit just about anyone. Alternatively, check out our careers page.

Increase your capacity with Ascend

Your support services are designed to address your unique goals and want you to feel comfortable with your ongoing support needs. We arrange an initial meet-and-greet between all our new clients and potential students until you find the right support worker for you.

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