Making sure we connect the right people is an incredibly important part of the process. The relationship between the client and the support worker is at the heart of what we do, so we need to get it right. Quite often, the client has been doing things on their own for a very long time, and it becomes difficult for them to hand over any kind of control to another person. We understand the reticence and so, spend a lot of time ensuring we get it right.
The first thing we do is make sure we have a clear understanding of the client’s needs. What is it they struggle with? Which tasks do they need help with? How will a support worker fit in with them and their business? Knowing exactly what they need assistance with definitely helps narrow down the list. Once we have a better idea, we can then take a look at our support workers to see who has the skill set required.
However, just because the skillset is there doesn’t mean that the support worker will be the right fit. The client and support worker (or support workers if they need more than one) will be working closely together, so matching personalities is also essential. Almost all of our clients are self-employed and have a hand in every aspect of their business. Hiring someone to work with you (which is essentially what this is) is a big step and takes a lot of courage.
Building up the trust needed can take time, and we check in throughout the process with both the client and support worker to make sure the relationship is still working and that both parties are getting what they need. Requirements can change over time, so it’s really important to ask. If everything is going smoothly, we can happily leave everyone to get on with it. If things aren’t quite going to plan, then we need to look at why and try and solve any issues before they become a problem. Occasionally, it is necessary to change the support worker but that’s usually because of the skillset needed, not the personality.
Our clients are the reason we do what we do. We want them to get the most out of their time with us as possible and make sure they’re getting all the benefits they’re entitled to from Access to Work. Ensuring they have the correct support worker is one of the most vital parts of the process and is something we spend a lot of time on getting right.