2021 Kick-Off Workshop

Cohort 3 - Session 1 Presentation

Cohort 3 - Session 2 Presentation

2020 Kick-Off Workshop

Provider organizations who completed the annual survey are eligible to participate in training and workforce consultation in the QuILTSS Initiative. In 2019, the kick-off workshops were held in-person over two full days in each of the three regions of Tennessee. In 2020, the kick-off workshops were held in a series of 7 two-hour virtual workshops for each of the three regions of Tennessee.

The goal of the kick-off workshop is to help providers understand and use workforce data to identify a primary workforce challenge and learn about workforce solutions for recruiting, selecting, and retaining direct support professionals using the DSP Workforce Toolkit. These engaging and interactive kick-off workshops provide opportunities to examine workforce challenges and consider solutions.

The virtual kick-off workshop consists of seven sessions:

  1. Getting Started: Tennessee Workforce Initiative Overview and Understanding DSP Workforce Issues
  2. Understanding Your Data: Overview of Survey Results Profile and Interpreting Data
  3. Assessing Your Need: Evidence-Based Practices and Organizational Capacity
  4. Overview of TennCare Workforce Toolkit: Recruitment and Selection Strategies
  5. Overview of TennCare Workforce Toolkit: Retention Strategies-Part 1
  6. Overview of TennCare Workforce Toolkit: Retention Strategies-Part 2
  7. Planning Your Next Steps: Measuring Outcomes of Implementation and Creating a Practical Action Plan for Change

Learning Labs

The QuILTSS Initiative Learning Labs provide specific workforce tools and strategies to issues identified previously in recruitment, selection, and retention of DSPs. Each Learning Lab is about 30-45 minutes long, with approximately 15-20 minutes for the content and time for questions and discussion afterwards. 


How Much Does a New Hire Cost?

Recruitment is important, but how much does each new hire cost your organization? Learn how to calculate the total cost of each new hire and discuss ideas for reducing this cost.

Targeted Marketing

You've discovered who your successful employees are. How can you recruit more of these successful employees? We'll discuss tools to recruit particular populations to be DSPs.

The Ease of Applying on Your Organization’s Website

What does a potential applicant learn about the organization and the positions available when they view your organization’s website? Is it easy to learn what the job is all about? How easy is it to apply? How quickly do they get a response from the organization?


Developing a Score Guide for the Structured Behavioral Interview

The questions in a Structured Behavioral Interview are critical to communicating with the candidate about the job and the culture and mission of the organization. Equally important is knowing what responses you want. Learn how to develop and use a Score Guide as a part of the interview process.


Learning About Retention Through DSP Feedback

This session will share common components of strong surveys and delve into the importance of using survey data to improve an organization. Learn about transparency, impact on morale, and the importance of acting on both positive and negative findings.

The Peer Empowerment Program

Peer mentoring is when experienced DSPs assist new or less experienced DSPs to develop competencies, socialize them to the organization, and learn about their job. Mentoring reduces turnover and helps achieve better quality support. Learn how to plan and customize your own peer mentoring program.

Career Ladders

Career ladders are strategies to invest in committed DSPs and frontline supervisors to improve retention. Learn about initial considerations for creating a career ladder, successful outcomes of career ladders, and key barriers and opportunities to begin and maintain an engaging career ladder.

Frontline Supervisor Assessments

Frontline Supervisors (FLS) are critical to the success of your organization. Many times, they are promoted or hired with little formal understanding of what is expected of them in their new role. Learn about the FLS competencies and how to use them with the Frontline Supervisor Assessment tool.


The QuILTSS Initiative webinars provide provider organizations in Tennessee who attended the kick-off workshop with focused training on specific evidence-based tools and strategies to address issues identified by organizations in recruitment, selection, and retention of DSPs. Representatives from organizations will learn about best practices for implementing specific tools available in the DSP Workforce Toolkit to help address their workforce challenges.


Public Service Announcements

Increasing the public’s understanding of direct support can help organizations recruit DSPs. A public service announcement is a great way to spread the word about who DSPs are and what they do. Learn about the different forms of PSAs and how they can be used with larger recruitment campaigns.

Targeted Marketing

Finding the right people is critical during recruitment. Targeted marketing is understanding who your best performing employees are and finding others who share the same characteristics. Learn how to use targeted marketing to find the best employees and receive sample targeted marketing tools.


Structured Behavioral Interviews

A Structured Behavioral Interview and Score Guide are tools used to learn about the candidate and communicate the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Learn what a structural behavioral interview is and how using structured behavioral interviews helps you make better hiring selections.


Realistic Job Preview

Realistic job previews (RJPs) increase retention by providing a realistic look at what the job is like before candidates accept a job offer. Candidates who are not a good match may “opt out” before accepting a position. Learn about different types of RJPs and strategies to use them in the hiring process.

Orientation and Onboarding

Supervisors need to tell and show new DSPs what is expected of them on the job and how to do tasks. Effective training improves performance and chances that new DSPs will stay longer. Learn about the difference between orientation and onboarding, best practices, and the importance of the supervisor.

Competency-Based Training

Competency-based training focuses on developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of DSPs. It can be used to measure what a person knows, how they approach decision making, what they are able to do, and the way they think about people with disabilities and their job.

The Peer Empowerment Program

Mentoring reduces the cost of turnover because new hires are more likely to stay longer when they have better support and training. Learn about a peer mentoring tool that provides guidance on planning and customizing your own peer-to-peer mentoring program following a recommended framework.

DSP Professional Career Path

To keep great DSPs, support them in their professional development by creating career pathways. Learn the basic steps in building a career pathway (career ladder) or credentialing program in your organization, and see examples of different career pathway and credentialing programs.

Frontline Supervisors

Frontline Supervisors (FLS) play a critical role in retaining great DSPs. To excel in their roles, FLSs need clear job expectations. Learn strategies for recruiting, selecting, and retaining effective FLSs using the National Frontline Supervisor Assessment, Competencies, and Interview Questions.

Employee Development Part 1

Employee Development is a strategic organizational approach that promotes growth and productivity by increasing an employee’s knowledge and skills. To reduce costly turnover, job descriptions need to be updated, and organizations need to create learning and professional development opportunities.

Employee Development Part 2

Employers often conduct a job analysis to determine which work-related tasks are critical to the success of the position by defining the job role, responsibilities, and expectations. Learn about the job analysis process and best practices for developing job descriptions.

Employee Development Part 3

Ongoing feedback is important for retaining quality DSPs and FLSs. Employee performance assessments help employees understand their strengths and areas where more training or support is needed. Learn about different methods for assessing employee performance and developing an assessment process.