“What to do after 3 days of communication coordination training”
We felt this was a question that most of us ask after attending any training session…… “Okay, I have learned some new information, but how do I put it into action?
With this in mind we planned a 4th day as a Resource Creation Day. The primary aim of the day was to provide an opportunity for Communication Coordinators to come together to create resources to support communication in their workplace.
The workshop format was informal and allowed everyone to raise an idea, brainstorm the concept using everyone’s knowledge and experience, and then to create it. The simple concept of creating resources seems to be a major barrier to communication coordinators fulfilling their role back in the workplace. Often they feel unsure about where to start or fearing that what they create will not work.
The ability to meet with others who have completed the training and identify that the feeling of potential failure is quite common, reassured most that ‘having a go’ was the essential first step. For some, the day provided an opportunity to discuss their ideas before taking the plunge to put it together for implementation.
Having staff on board and “on the same page”, was identified as one of the key indicators of whether communication strategies would be successful. It was also identified that this is difficult to attain at times. To attend a training session and then go back to the workplace with knowledge and a concept is very different to going back to the workplace with knowledge and a physical object/support. It is easier to have staff on the same page when they can see what the strategy is and implementation can begin immediately
The rural context means the tyranny of distance reduces the opportunities for staff from a variety of settings to come together and share their knowledge and experiences. This 4th day enabled networking across day services and accommodation services in the development of resources.
- Weekly timetables for whole of service
- Individual visual schedules
- Writing of a social story
- Individual annual planner
- Development of communication profiles
- Developing scripts for client interactions
- Activity choice board
Would we do it again?
Feedback from participants indicate that we have helped to bridge the gap between learning a new skill and implementing that skill. Of the 14 participants, all of them have requested another opportunity to come together and make re- sources with guidance and a collective brain. Comments included:
“Extremely useful, I went away achieving 3 plans for communication.” “Discussing and sharing ideas as a team and working together was the most useful.”
“I would like to see this happen every 3-6 months as it will open up new doors for better communication between staff and residents.”
So, yes, we will be offering this day again over the coming year as a strategy to support our Communication Coordinators in their day to day work.
By Emma Douglas & Sharon Champion