As a manager, you have a lot to deal with on a daily basis, so when your employee with a disability has a Job Coach, you might ask, “Do I have to deal with this too?”
The answer: Job Coaches are independent from your new employee. Their sole purpose is to aid your day-to-day work functions by assisting your new employee in assimilating to your company’s values and structure. However, don’t worry, a Job Coach will NEVER do the work for your employee.
Think of a Job Coach as your backup, when and if you need it, to help your employee learn tasks inside and out so that your department or business runs efficiently and profitably.
Here are some tips on how to successfully work with your employee’s job coach:
1. Talk to your employee first
The first point of contact should be your employee. Don’t bypass your employee for fear you are afraid she won’t understand. If you have a concern or feedback about how your employee with a disability is doing the job, work with her like you would any member of your staff. Address problems head on and provide feedback directly after an incident whenever possible. If the behavior doesn’t improve, then let the Job Coach know to step in to offer on the job support.
Contact the Job Coach with any feedback, comments, or concerns. Job Coaches want to make the transition to employment as smooth as possible for the business and the employee. Open communications between the employee, employer and the Job Coach will allow everyone to work together. The employee wants to do well on the job, but he cannot improve if he doesn’t know what the issue is.
3. Think of the job coach as background support when you need it
A Job Coach is there to help, but as a business manager, you are the one who knows the job inside and out. The Job Coach can step in when needed, but all employees report to you. Aside from accommodations that were agreed upon with the employer and the employee, a worker with a disability should be managed just as you manage all of your employees.
Remember: A Job Coach wants what’s best for the employee and the business! They are here to help whenever necessary.
About the Author:
Erin Kelly is an Employment Specialist at Search, Inc. and one of our jjslist.com on-line job coaches. Erin helps people with disabilities find and keep jobs. If there is something you’d like Erin to address in a future blog, let her know at firstname.lastname@example.org.