Top 5 Effective Ways
Trauma-Informed Supervisors Retain Their Staff
For supervisors in Health and Human Services organizations, it can be tough to know
whether what you’re doing is making a positive difference to help your employees and teams.
You got into the field to help people. Not just the people your organization serves, but also the
people you work with and who work for you. All of you felt a calling to help others.
But there is no question jobs in the human services sector carry with them some downsides:
lower pay, heavier careloads, overburdensome paperwork, and higher stress environments, just to name a few. Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) is a common job hazard for those directly serving vulnerable populations, like physicians, psychotherapists, human service workers, and first responders. “Some of the documented negative organizational effects that can result from STS are increased absenteeism, impaired judgment, low productivity, poorer quality of work, higher staff turnover, and greater staff friction.”
That’s why it’s essential to be connected to your employees and have their pulse, to be able
to support them when and where they need it, and create pathways to success. Valued
and supported employees create happier workplaces, happier clients, and a more fulfilled
supervisor – you!
The flip side is likely to cost you, your employees, your organization... and your clients.
According to Chron. Magazine2, dissatisfied employees are more likely to be tardy, call in
sick, take longer breaks, have lower work quality, receive more complaints from co-workers
and clients, complain more themselves – often about small things, and quit their jobs, leaving
everyone else to pick up the slack.
But for every dissatisfying aspect of their job, your staff will stay if they are valued, respected, and feel like they are making a difference.
And when you retain happy, productive staff, everyone wins.
If you knew making a few adjustments in your supervisory approach would help you retain and support your staff, would you?
Silver Linings International (SLI) recently asked successful agency supervisors around the U.S. to
help us understand what they’ve done to increase their employee’s performance and feelings
of psychological safety to offset the current, tough reality of working in the health and human
We also asked some of their employees what they wanted and needed to feel safe, happy, and
supported in their jobs. They shared some tips on what works and what hurts.