Staff Development and Retention Specialist

Health & Human Services Comm - Lubbock, TX

Staff Services Officer IV

The Lubbock State Supported Living Center is searching for a dynamic person committed to building relationships and creating an inclusive, welcoming environment to help recruit and retain staff. The Staff Development and Retention Specialist (SDRS) reports to the State Supported Living Center Facility Director and performs highly complex work designed to enhance staff competency, job satisfaction and an inclusive and positive workplace culture to improve retention and succession planning. This person should be outgoing and optimistic, participating in job fairs/hiring events and community activities as an State Supported Living Center ambassador. Assists with job interviews when needed. Coordinates and collaborates with local supervisors, Competency and Training Development (CTD) staff and State Supported Living Center state-office leadership to design and implement a robust onboarding and competency development process for all newly hired staff at the State Supported Living Centers as a supplement to the standardized new employee orientation (NEO) process, with a focus on Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Ensures the employee onboarding process is welcoming, thorough, consistent and incorporates the State Supported Living Center and HHSC mission and vision. Ensures all newly hired staff are familiar with the complete operation of the facility, layout of the physical location, and are provided an introduction of key leadership within the facility. Develops professional working relationships with newly hired staff in order to foster their sense of belonging and connectedness. Conducts and/or oversees a competency-based on-the-job training (OJT) program for staff, with an emphasis on DSPs. Coordinates and collaborates with designated staff members to conduct surveys related to employee satisfaction of new hire training, OJT, supervisor engagement, and other aspects of the facility onboarding process. Evaluates the effectiveness of learning and DSP competency by testing/demonstrating skills and/or knowledge of DSPs, answering questions, addressing concerns about the job, and inviting feedback on the learning methods used during OJT to improve the program’s effectiveness. Compiles and completes required documentation to establish progress reports for current DSPs in OJT and within first twelve months of employment. Works with State Supported Living Center leadership to improve overall satisfaction and retention of all staff. Provides recommendations to State Supported Living Center leadership based upon survey results and interactions with staff. Builds employee networks and engagement committees. Serves on assigned committees and attends management team meetings. Work hours are normally day or evening shifts with variable responsibility for night shift activities, depending upon the training and coaching needs of staff. Works under limited supervision, with moderate latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Essential Job Functions:
Attends work on a regular basis and may be required to work a specific shift schedule or, at times, even a rotating schedule, extended shift and/or overtime in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

Serves as State Supported Living Center ambassador to recruit staff and promote the State Supported Living Center by participating in job fairs/hiring events and community activities. Takes initiative to find new ways to enhance job pools for all types of staff positions. Assists hiring managers with interviews when needed. Serves on staff recognition and retention committees at the local and state level.

Establishes, maintains and coordinates a robust teambuilding program as part of the new employee onboarding process. Connects employees with a job coach, mentor and/or other tenured staff person to build positive workplace relationships and sense of belonging. Emphasizes and models the agency mission and vision. Surveys, and oversees others to survey, newly hired staff at 30-, 60-, 90- and 180 days to check in on their experiences using a semi-structured interview tool. Records and reports this information to the facility Director with recommendation on how to make improvements based upon the feedback received and to recognize best practices. Takes initiative to solve identified problems.

Designs, coordinates, oversees and/or provides OJT for new staff to build job competency. Collaborates with subject matter experts and Competency, Training and Development (CTD) staff in the development, delivery, and evaluation of all OJT programs. Shares information, identifies concerns and trends, and recommends improvements to enhance OJT specific content development and delivery. Coordinates the OJT training schedule in collaboration with CTD and the employee’s direct supervisor.

Facilitates the delivery of approved and required OJT modules and curriculum, manages learning activities, and provides consistent and thorough instruction for DSPs. Coordinates with home supervisors for the delivery of targeted skill development and mentoring of newly hired DSPs. Documents progress and performance of OJT based on standardized evaluation guidelines. Provides, or ensures others provide, guided practice of all OJT modules through demonstration, coaching, checklists, step-by- step instructions, and regular feedback to ensure DSPs are practicing the targeted skill correctly before applying in real work situations. Assesses what remedial training may be needed by a DSP and coordinates with home supervisors to develop an action plan for completion. Provides timely written communication with CTD and State Supported Living Center leadership if a problem arises and the SDRS believes the DSP cannot be properly trained, evaluated, or perform the duties of a DSP.

Collaborates with supervisory staff and leadership on the progress of newly hired DSPs for the first twelve months of employment. Maintains a formalized record keeping methodology for new hire records and documentation in accordance with the agency’s records retention schedule and provides accurate documentation to CTD for DSPs to receive course credit for OJT in the agency’s training tracking system.

Provides routine feedback to newly hired staff to enhance their professional growth in a positive regard and rectifying any performance deficiencies in a timely manner. Utilizes and models positive reinforcement to change behavior while teaching or coaching staff to help build positive relationships. Praises good performance and improvements during learning, encourages, recognizes effort, supports supervisory staff to enhance recognition of skill development, and encourages peers to reinforce one another’s skills.

Attends any new course for DSPs developed by CTD within 60 days of implementation. Observes new hire classroom training annually as provided by CTD to assess any correlation of material in classroom modules with the transfer of learning during OJT and identifies any needed changes to OJT modules and curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of the overall training program. Works with CTD to enhance classroom training to ensure content aligns with operational practices.

Works with State Supported Living Center leadership to provide ongoing OJT in home shift meetings, management meetings, and town hall meetings as warranted. Serves on any workgroups and committees as designated by the State Supported Living Center Director.

Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.

Knowledge Skills Abilities:
  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of all staff at the State Supported Living Center, with advanced knowledge of the essential job duties of the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).
  • Knowledge of training procedures/techniques effective with adult learners, or ability to quickly gain this knowledge.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written) with people with diverse backgrounds at all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to assist in evaluating, developing, and revising on-the- job and classroom training programs.
  • Ability to operate basic office equipment and audio/visual equipment and to use Windows based programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
  • Ability to work both within a team environment and independently.
  • Ability to demonstrate good judgment and serve as a model for others in demonstrating the mission and values of HHSC.
  • Ability to convey a welcoming and inclusive work environment and to spread good cheer.
  • Ability to teach and demonstrate skills related to assigned courses.
  • Skill in training and coaching others to perform job duties.
  • Skill in communicating rules to others.
  • Skill in defusing potentially difficult situations.
  • Skill in monitoring and assessing situations and determining appropriate response.
  • Skill in continuous process improvement.
  • Ability to display a diplomatic demeanor and to effectively resolve conflict.
  • Ability to gather, organize and analyze data and enter information into databases.
  • Ability to express ideas verbally in a clear and orderly fashion.
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with co-workers and individuals served.
  • Ability to maintain flexibility in work schedule.
  • Ability to drive a state vehicle.
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Must possess valid Texas driver’s license or obtain it no later than 90 days after hire date. Applicants with an out-of-state driver’s license must provide an original certified driving record from the state of driving licensure. Eligible driving record required based on HHSC Fleet Management policy.

Initial Selection Criteria:
  • At least three (3) years of experience working directly with people who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
  • Graduation from a standard senior high school or equivalent.
  • Experience in a team/shift lead role or providing training/guidance to others
Additional Information:
The salary offered will follow HHS starting salary guidelines which are typically made at or near the minimum of the salary range.

Applicants must pass a fingerprint criminal background check, pre-employment drug screen, and registry checks including the Client Abuse/Neglect Reporting System (CANRS), Nurse Aide, Medication Aide and Employee Misconduct and HHS OIG List of Excluded Individuals/Entities. Males between the ages of 18–25 must be registered with the Selective Service.

All State Supported Living Center employees are subject to Random drug testing.

Flexibility in work hours may be required for this position. The position may be required to work overtime and/or extended hours.

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be considered for employment at a state-operated facility.

Requisition ID 432564

MOS Code:
There are no Military occupations that relate to the initial selection criteria and registration or licensure requirements for this position. All active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, and veterans are encouraged to apply if qualified to fill this position. For additional information see the Texas State Auditor’s Military Crosswalk at
HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work.

I-9 Form - Click here to download the I-9 form.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.