To help enhance the quality of care for the individuals we serve, The Guild for Human Services sent supervisors to train with instructors from the Ivy League.

Since The Guild was awarded a grant from the state last year to implement the highly regarded Yale Program on Supervision, more than 100 Guild supervisors now receive ongoing training designed to make them more effective managers. Additionally, supervisors meet monthly with their peers for feedback and coaching support.

“Employees are reporting that they are receiving the support and feedback from their supervisors that empowers them to perform at higher levels,” says Stephen E. Hylan, LICSW, The Guild’s director of professional development. 

The Yale Program, which is administered by faculty from the Yale School of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, aims to strengthen the supervision of health and human services in order to enhance quality of care, organizational effectiveness, and the work life and careers of employees. The program provides skills training for supervisors and middle managers; staff coaching; strategic planning and consultation with agency leaders on organizational change strategies to foster effective supervision; and supervision policy and standards development.

To launch the Yale Program, The Guild identified three different cohorts – a nine-member Change Leadership team, 11 mid-level managers and 13 supervisors – to participate in five days of training (three days off site, two days at The Guild). The Change Leadership team guided the program implementation while the groups of mid-level managers and supervisors put the teachings into practice and trained their peers.

The program has addressed a significant training gap by providing support for new and experienced supervisors who were elevated from direct-care positions with little or no management expertise.

Boris Fomo, an associate director of adult residential services who has trained house managers and lead residential managers on the Yale supervision model, believes he could have benefited from the program when he was promoted to manager of the Maynard House in 2015.

“It would have really helped me be a better manager if I had received supervisory training for the position,” he says. “At the time, that was a training piece that The Guild did not have.”

For instance, the training would have helped him navigate the tricky transition from peer to supervisor and also learn about different supervisory approaches that he could employ.

“Because of the Yale Program on Supervision, I feel like my lead residential managers are not just supervisors on paper but actual supervisors,” Boris says. “They feel like it has improved the quality of care we provide.”