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5 Ways to Streamline Supervision for your Organization

January 3, 2023

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By: Dr. Carla Smith, LCSW, LMFT

Clinical supervision aims to facilitate the development of the clinical skills required to provide effective, ethical psychotherapy. For clinical supervision to work, it must become a priority in your organization. Let’s look at some of the most important steps, such as hiring qualified staff, retaining them, incentivizing them, promoting professional development and cultural competency, and soliciting feedback.

How to Streamline your Supervision

Every counselor requires and has a right to clinical supervision, irrespective of their training and experience. For effective personnel development and optimal patient care, the supervision process must be an integral part of your company’s infrastructure. Here are five ways to streamline your supervision process to make it a seamless part of your organization’s operations.

 

1. Hiring Qualified Staff 

Hire once, hire right. Employing the ideal candidate for the position means that you may avoid additional searches for another professional further down the line. The hiring process is costly and time-consuming. Streamlining your business processes starts with hiring the correct personnel. A therapist that has been supervised will not necessarily make a good supervisor. Supervision is a discipline in and of itself. It requires unique knowledge, skills, and attitudes. You want to hire supervisors that are qualified to supervise. In addition, clinical supervisors need to be exceptionally skilled in the areas of practice of the therapists and counselors they will supervise.

 

2. Retaining Your Staff 

In any business, staff retention is imperative for hiccup-free operations. Even more so when it comes to supervisory roles. In a clinical setting, high employee turnover may lead to reduced efficiency and low engagement between supervisors and supervisees. The supervisor-supervisee relationship needs time and investment from both parties to see its full potential.  

Let’s look at these strategies for improving staff retention:

  1. Clinical supervision and administrative supervision are two separate processes. To avoid frustration, one should encourage a balance between the two and allocate time for both.
  2. For best results, consistency is vital. If your company’s supervisor/s has responsibilities other than supervising, ensure that those responsibilities do not encroach on time for supervision. Remembering that the supervision process is more than the consultations with supervisees. Supervisors also need time for reviewing case notes, research, and administrative duties. To save the time and cost involved in commuting, you could even consider incorporating virtual clinical supervision
  3. Support the well-being of your employees by taking care of their physical environment. Work areas should be comfortable with plenty of natural light. There should be sufficient quiet zones for productivity and uninterrupted consultations.
  4. If possible, offer flexible working hours. Supervisors may need to be on-site for consultations, but they could perhaps work from home when compiling reports and doing other administrative duties.
  5. Invest in training and development. Upskilling your employees increase their job satisfaction and motivation.
  6. Valued staff will stick around longer. Reinforce positive behavior with a recognition or reward scheme. It’s an effective way of building a robust, supportive company culture.
  7. Ensure the supervisor/supervisee ratio is manageable. In other words, a supervisor should not be responsible for more supervisees than they can adequately give time to.

 

3. Promoting Professional Growth 

Professional development should be a continuous process that emphasizes understanding of cultural and racial diversity and considers:

  • Personal and professional differences.
  • Legal and ethical concerns.
  • Self- and peer-assessment.

Further learning is vital for improving the quality of the supervision undertaken as well as the morale of the supervisors. Make efforts to incorporate time and practices for supervisors to regularly update their skills and knowledge. Encourage attendance of training sessions in supervision and advanced issues in clinical guidance that are pertinent to the counseling your therapists are doing. You could even allocate a few days in the month for the professional development of your supervisors.

Professional growth encompasses adding to your knowledge as well as growing emotionally. Encourage supervisors to attend supervisor consultation groups, either externally or in a group created within your company.

 

4. Providing Effective Feedback 

A key aspect of delivering effective feedback in clinical supervision is the importance of the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee. What does effective feedback look like:

  • The supervisor needs to establish an educational rapport between themselves and the supervisee.
  • Feedback should be constructive and based on factual observations.
  • Beneficial feedback raises awareness of a counselor’s ethics and efficiency in a manner that will promote improvement.
  • Addresses a specific concern by giving the supervisee a concrete issue to resolve with guidance on how to do so.
  • Effective feedback should highlight areas for improvement and recognize good performance.
  • Appropriate feedback fosters an environment of teachability in your workplace.

 

5. Finding the Right Partner 

A critical goal of clinical supervision is to continuously improve client care. For this to happen smoothly, counselors should pair with culturally compatible supervisors whose clinical interests are aligned with theirs. 

There are several reasons why you may consider outsourcing clinical supervisors. Perhaps your organization doesn’t have the physical or economical infrastructure to accommodate the ideal number of clinical supervisors. Another reason may be that the portfolio of counselors is incredibly culturally diverse. Having a wider net of supervisors to select from is optimal for pairing your counselors with a suitable clinical supervisor.

 

How Motivo Can Help 

Sometimes outsourcing certain roles is an effective way of mitigating the time and energy spent on looking for the perfect fit for your business. Motivo has nearly 1,000 supervisors with a range of licenses. You will be able to find a match for any clinician, regardless of location, license, or area of clinical interest. Whether you are looking for the supervision of social workers, addiction counselors, behavior analysts, or licensed psychologists, Motivo’s community of clinical supervisors offers all these and more.

In the spirit of streamlining business processes, Motivo supervisors store supervision notes and track hours on our HIPAA-compliant platform. This means that you spend fewer man-hours on paperwork and are ready for your next audit at the drop of a hat.

Contact Us

Motivo makes clinical supervision a smooth and efficient process. Our platform matches counselors and therapists with vetted clinical supervisors, helping you to streamline the supervision process within your organization. Learn more about how Motivo can ensure high-quality supervision for your organization today.

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