Human services leaders work in a disruptive operating environment and face many workforce challenges and systemic issues. In hopes of identifying and building solutions, particularly those grounded in partnering with community, Social Current and the American Public Human Services Association have joined efforts. Together, they will work to co-create a new leadership framework for human service leaders of both community-based organizations and public agencies.
During this session, facilitators will present the latest insight gained from research conducted with community members and senior leaders. This research is based around how we can work collaboratively across the human services ecosystem and flip to a new power-sharing paradigm. Innovative and impactful examples of addressing challenges facing today’s human services workforce will be key components of the workshop.
Human services leaders must align on a shared vision and guide others using new mental models and a new operating paradigm that engages leaders at all levels. They must also operationalize practices that confront implicit bias, center community and belonging, incorporate input from families to improve service delivery, and hire people with lived experience at all levels.
- Share insight gained from research and a national scan of how to equip the flip, using tools to change the way human services leaders focus on people first and not the process.
- Share innovative examples of ways to equip the flip through a community-focused approach.
- Gain insight on a people-centric leadership framework, changing the way we work together and across the human services network
Trinka Landry-Bourne, DPA
American Public Human Services Association
Organizational Effectiveness Consultant Leadership Development
Community Engagement Specialist
American Public Human Services Association
Healing is the gathering of resources from within a person, their family (however they define that), and their community. The children, families, and adults we work with are not the only ones who are in need of healing and compassion. Often, it is us healers and compassionate caregivers that have the hardest time asking for help or recognizing when we are burned out. Sometimes we think that we shouldn’t struggle if we’re the helper or that it’s a sign of weakness to be burned out. This workshop is designed to squash all those myths and to get you back to taking care of yourself, so that you can best be equipped to take care of others!
The primary goals of this workshop are to nonjudgmentally learn the root causes of compassion fatigue and identify them within ourselves, understand how that impacts the work we do, and to both practice and develop a wellness plan to combat the effects of burnout. Additionally, participants will be able to learn how to scale their own level of fatigue and common techniques that are inexpensive and simple to utilize to minimize the effects of this burnout.
The format will include activities such as fatigue scales and relaxation techniques, as well as time for Q&A. This session will look to normalize the reality of compassion fatigue in helping professions and provide an introductory way for individuals to manage the challenges associated in working with individuals whose needs are so great.
Ultimately, by coming together to demystify the real experience of burnout, hopefully we can begin to be impacted less by the unnecessary shame. None of us are above needing help and the sooner we all recognize that, the sooner we all start feeling better.
- Key signs of compassion fatigue and the five domains of stress
- How the brain and body react to stress and compassion fatigue and what techniques to employ when at home to combat these stressors
- Practice multiple techniques for reducing stress and learn about multiple strategies for reducing stress while struggling with compassion fatigue
Robert Benson Sanoshy
The Balanced Cairn
There is a powerful African proverb that says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” But what does this actually look like in practice? Sector leaders are searching for effective strategies for organizational development, funding, and community justice. More than ever, leaders in the sector are understaffed and challenged by pay, an even heavier burden for smaller community-based organizations. Do past management styles hold value in today’s environment? What changes should leaders make?
A phenomenal cast of experts, ranging from leaders of a small community-based organization to a large state-based agency, will discuss sector-wide challenges that need to be addressed. Leaders want practical methods for diversity and inclusion development within their teams. They must also acknowledge all partnerships as equal to build a community that values safety, justice, and voice. Systemic change is always the call, but there are many power dynamics leaders must recognize in collaborations that can serve as a catalyst to change. The leaders in this workshop will share examples of the successful strategies their organizations have implemented as well as challenges they’ve experienced.
- Inequities in partnerships and collaborations for CEOs
- Effective strategies aligned with EDI to develop staff, managers and relationships
- Effective funding strategies for smaller community-based organizations and the challenges they face to sustain
- Benefits, strategies, and examples of connecting the “spider web”
Senior Program Manager
Crystal Bennett, LMSW
DEI Specialist, CEO
Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Children’s Home Society of Washington
Ladies In Power
One of the major challenges all nonprofits face today is the retention and development of staff at every organizational level. If you ask, “Does your organization have a professional leadership development program to identify, assess and develop today’s leaders for tomorrow’s challenges?” less than 50% of nonprofit organizations would say yes. However, if you ask about a plan to increase donors and dollars, or to achieve strategic goals, or a budget to maintain financial solvency—all would say yes. This educational and inspirational workshop will identify the five key steps to proactively identify and develop new leaders within your organization. The benefits are significant:
- Employee retention
- Improved morale
- Increased performance and motivation
- Career advancement
- Development of mentors and coaches
- Creates a culture of success
- Energizes the entire organization
- Generates a greater social impact in the communities served
This workshop will provide you with a plan to utilize your own staff as mentors and coaches as well as to promote the new leadership development plan within your organization. The “culture of resignation” has a real solution. Come meet presenter Dennis Miller to hear his incredible true story as well as to share in his knowledge and expertise.
- Proactively identify and develop new leaders within your organization
- Identify the competencies and skills that they will need to be successful
- Create a professional leadership development plan for your entire organization
Dennis C. Miller
Founder & Chairman
DCM Associates Inc.
Terrence F. Cahill, Ed.D
DCM Associates Inc.
A study reported by The Washington Post in January 2021 revealed that Black employees represent a strikingly small percentage (8%) of top executives and the professionals responsible to boost inclusion often struggle. Despite variations of individual success in overcoming racial disparities and divisive narratives, Black male nonprofit leaders often experience personal frustration and psychological fatigue due to unwarranted impediments in exercising their full leadership capacity, creative potential, and organizational impact (Pickett, 2020).
In response to this daunting reality, a group of nonprofit executives from around the country formed a safe, culturally responsive space for Black male leaders nearly 10 years ago. Utilizing a barbershop format where everyone is welcome, they will share individual narratives, collective perspectives, and unique recommendations with the goal to diversify the C-suite.
Research suggests that inclusive workplaces drive employee productivity, foster creativity, improve problem solving, and increase profitability. During this presentation, these social service executives will advance the conversation by emphasizing the organizational significance and business advantage of moving past diversification to authentic inclusion.
- The prevalence and impact of psychological adversity many Black male leaders face throughout their professional journey
- Best practices for engaging, recruiting, and supporting black males in C-suite positions while transitioning from diversity to inclusion
- Success stories, positive outcomes, and organizational impact from retaining Black men in high-level leadership roles
Julius Mullen, Ed.D
Chief Inclusion Officer
Children & Families First of Delaware
Senior Program Manager for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Excellence
Raphael Holloway, MA
Undraye P. Howard, Ph. D.
VP of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement
Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, Esq.
Director of Business and Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program
Claude A. Robinson
Founder & President
Onyx Strategic Partners, LLC.
Jonathan Palmer, MS
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
George Winn, MA
Chief Strategy Officer
From board members to managers to direct service staff, the experiences individuals have aren’t left at the workplace door (or now the Zoom waiting room). Brain science informs us that life experiences hardwire into the brain. Some experiences are psychologically and physically threatening and create a toxic stress response. Further, the person and the job are not separate. An individual’s personal life impacts their work performance. Further, an individual’s stress response and personal well-being show up in meetings or when addressing performance concerns whether they are conscious of it or not.
Trauma-informed management necessary for creating equitable practices in the workplace that recognize each employee is a unique individual with different perspectives that inform their decision making, performance, and perception of their work. Managers and supervisors have a duty to address self-care and be equipped with skills to address vicarious trauma and well-being in the workplace. Done well, trauma-informed supervision creates a culture of resilience.
In this session, we will take a deep dive into the basics of trauma and how trauma-informed principles can be adapted into supervisory principles to create relational safety and growth in the workplace.
- How toxic stress impacts brain architecture and functioning
- Principles of trauma-informed care
- How to apply trauma-informed care to supervisory and managerial practices to address vicarious trauma
Chief Program Officer of School Based Initiatives
Children & Families First
Compliance & Accreditation Manager
Children & Families First
As leaders, how do we fully equip and support our teams to create equitable pathways in partnership with our communities? Effective teamwork depends on staff feeling safe to speak up, even when their opinion is not shared or may be unpopular. Psychologically safe teams support candid feedback, identifying opportunities for learning and improvement, as well as approaches to treat errors as opportunities for growth, not punishment. This has real consequences for helping professionals. Psychologically safe professionals have:
- Higher retention rates
- Lower levels of emotional exhaustion
- Better teamwork skills
This internal change intentionally creates a team environment that will provoke external change, leading to equitable solutions that shift power to bold, strategic and well-informed communities. Attendees can expect to learn how this practice has led to innovative solutions to shift power from agency to community from several leaders in a fireside chat setting.
- Responsibility and impact of leaders and their organizations who create safe and respectful workplace
- Psychological safety is an essential component of collaboration, creation, and solutions
- Learn how psychological safety has led to innovative infusions that have shifted power from agency to communities
Senior Program Manager
Dr. Michael Cull
Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Kentucky
Workplace health is tied to reduced turnover, increased productivity, and ultimately client outcomes. In the post-pandemic “Great Resignation” environment, the burden to build resilience and avoid burnout is placed on the already overwhelmed and overworked employee. Just as the proverbial canary cannot be responsible for fixing the toxic elements of the coal mine, employees cannot fix organizational obstacles to workplace happiness.
McKinsey reports that 52% of employees leave because they feel their supervisor does not value them. Meanwhile, supervisors, who often are overburdened by staff vacancies, are dancing as fast as they can in remote and hybrid environments, where it is increasingly difficult to assess employee needs or even their own needs. This workshop will provide tangible solutions for organizational champions who want to impact the current workforce crisis in human services and promote a culture of true wellness, resilience, and psychological safety.
Ultimately, by creating actionable data, organizations that check-in routinely can build a robust mosaic of baselines, success measures, and strategic planning initiatives to engage and retain talent. By doing this, organizational leaders will confidently be able to answer: How are my employees? How’s my team? How are certain subgroups of employees doing?
The canaries no longer need to be sent into the dangerous coal mine. Rather, the coal mine is automated with sensors and alarms to create a safe space for all.
Through an engaging and interactive format, participants will discuss:
- The value of checking in with staff
- Low-tech and high-tech methods for checking in
- How to equip supervisors to use data for targeted support
- Case examples of using check-in data at employee, team, and organization levels
- Opportunities to use check-in data to create and measure inclusion strategies
- How leaders can manage this changing work environment with curiosity and compassion
- The value of employees’ work health and the importance of equipping supervisors with actionable data
- How to create a rudimentary check-in system
- The benefits of using real-time data to improve work health and increase staff retention
Chief Growth Officer
The “Great Resignation” is creating a burden on organizations nationwide, especially in meeting contractual deliverables, retaining skilled staff, and recruiting new staff. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics stated that COVID-19 contributed to one of the largest employee attrition rates, particularly in health care. Nonprofit management teams critically rely on strong leadership from within, and oftentimes, staff are promoted into management roles based on clinical excellence but are not provided a strong foundation related to leadership competencies like:
- Supervisory alliances
- Critical thinking as a supervisor
- Organizational management and administration
- Staff development
- Professional standards
- Program development
- Quality assurance related to performance evaluations
That is why every organization needs a “bench” of skilled players on their team. This workshop will discuss a Leadership Training Academy’s 12-month curriculum for new and emerging leaders that develops these competencies.
By examining behavioral health case studies, participants will learn about components of a successful organizational response to low staff morale and burnout. Participants will also learn about needs-based assessment processes aimed at identifying future leaders internally and gain practical tools to improve retention in their own organizations.
- How to maximize the “we” in our post-pandemic workplace by proactively ensuring staff retention and building positive team morale despite ongoing barriers and challenges
- How investing in your team by using systematic problem-based learning and self-reflection can result in higher employee retention rates, improved employee morale, and ultimately better client outcomes
- Real-world case studies related to the “Leadership Training Academy” that effectively demonstrate how employee investments can improve organizational performance outcomes and staff retention
Managing Director of Behavioral Health Services
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT
Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT
Deepening the understanding of stress, adversity and trauma is a burgeoning focus in community-based and human services organizations. As part of the understanding of equity and cultural competence within equity, diversity, and inclusion, it is important for organizations to also understand the trauma that exists for people from historically oppressed and marginalized groups. Understanding common language, and practical applications in approaches at the individual, program/organization, and system levels is important to implementing and sustaining transformation. An integrated trauma responsive and equity-focused approach can improve the experience, overall wellness, and long-term engagement, of the workforce and service recipients.
- About the intersection of trauma-responsive practices and equity-focused approaches
- At least one specific, practical action that can support and maintain a resilient workforce
Chief Diversity Officer
Senior Director of Practice Transformation