Help Your Community Health Worker Supervisor Develop Their Leadership Skills

Help your community health worker supervisor become a success by creating a pathway they can follow to develop their leadership skills.

Anyone can learn to become a better leader, whether they’re new to the job or a veteran. That’s what it means to be a great leader!

Developing Community Health Worker Supervisor Skills

Being a community health worker supervisor needs unique a set of skills and strategies to effectively lead and support a team of CHWs.

This guide contains the most important skills needed to excel in this role. Use it as a guideline to make available training to their CHW supervisors so they can improve their abilities as a manager in the field of community health work. This might change from state to state, so find out what’s relevant for your location.

From communication and problem-solving to team management and professional development, this guide has valuable insights and practical tips they need to become a successful community health worker supervisor.

What Does a Community Health Worker Supervisor Do?

Before diving into the skills and strategies needed to excel as a community health worker supervisor, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the role itself.

A community health worker supervisor is responsible for overseeing a team of community health workers and ensuring that they are carrying out their duties.

This includes:

  • providing guidance
  • offering support
  • training the team
  • monitoring their progress
  • addressing any staffing or client issues
  • coordinating with other healthcare professionals
  • liaising with community organizations to be sure that the needs of the community are being met.

They may also be involved in working on evaluation and research projects.

Build Strong Leadership Skills.

Leadership skills let someone guide, motivate and inspire their teams. This creates a positive work environment that also helps the community.

Provide a suite of leadership skills to your CHW supervisors. With them, they’ll be able to communicate the vision of your program, make informed decisions, delegate tasks, solve problems and adapt to change, ultimately driving success and maximizing the potential of their community health worker teams.

Have a closer look at what some of these are.

Communication Skills

Communication is a fundamental leadership skill that’s so important, we’re listing it under its own heading.

Supervisors are responsible for conveying important information to their team, as well as listening to their concerns and feedback.

Clear and concise communication is at the center of CHWs who function well. This skill helps them understand their roles and responsibilities, and any changes or updates in protocols or procedures.

Also, effective communication involves active listening, empathy, and the ability to provide constructive feedback.

Communication skills make it possible to create a positive and productive work environment, where their CHW workers feel supported and valued.

Creating a Supportive Work Environment

Community health worker supervisors always need to build a positive and supportive work environment for their team.

The supervisor you hire should be at the center of collaboration, respect and open communication. However, you can put into place the structure they need to work.

Some ideas for setting up this kind of environment are:

Invest in training. Supervisors should be supervising, not providing the training.

Engage employees. Create programs and policies that actively engage employees, like freely soliciting feedback.

Build team spirit. A positive culture will make it easier for your supervisor to do their job.

Stay Updated in the Field of Community Health.

Create a culture of learning at your agency. This will make it easier for everyone, including supervisors, to keep growing and stay updated in the field of community health.

Bring in sources they can use to stay informed about the latest research, best practices and emerging trends in community health. Pay for conferences, workshops and webinars. Give supervisors a budget to build their own professional development opportunities, such as obtaining certifications or advanced degrees, to expand their expertise.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to help your supervisors be the best they can be. You can hire the right person, but make sure you have systems in place for them to excel. Everyone, from the top of your agency on down to your clients, will benefit.

Interested on becoming a Community Health Worker?

The community health worker role has been growing steadily for years now, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that that will continue to be the case for years to come, with an estimated yearly growth of 12%, more than double the average for all jobs. Find out what you need!