Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Richard Goldman


Staff Morale, Residential Programs, Group Homes, Staff Support, Communication, Recognition.


This practicum sought to elevate the morale level of direct-care staff in a residential group care setting. Corollary aims were to reduce staff turnover and to improve staff performance both qualitatively and quantitatively. Four solutions strategies were attempted, which addressed the areas of staff support, communication, and recognition. The writer, representative of a top administrative position, conducted personal visits with staff at service sites. Three round table, dialoguing meetings were held within each of three regions. Agency communication was enhanced through retargeting and increasing the frequency of an intro agency publication so that its focus was on direct care staff. all staff were deputized to assist administration in identifying and recognizing direct care staff who demonstrated exemplary service. A system was established for receiving and acknowledging recommendations and for inducting selected ones into an honor society. Three objectives were established for measuring the successes of goal accomplishment. Two of the three objectives were met with the third being impacted through an unexpected turn of events unrelated to the solution strategies. Turnovers which had averaged 10 per quarter were reduced to zero during the implementation period. Supervisors of direct-care staff reported improvement in the general morale levels of their supervisees following implementation. While self-reported job satisfaction ratings among these staff reflected some improvement, the degree of improvement did not meet the objective. The practicum clearly demonstrated the potential of proactive intervention techniques for improving the morale level of staff.

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