The Corrections Way
The Missouri Department of Corrections has partnered with the Jefferson City-based consulting firm The Carden Group (TCG) to create a better working environment at all levels of the department. This initiative, known as the Corrections Way, prepares and equips staff to identify, teach, model and reinforce critical leadership skills.
TCG facilitated multiple staff focus groups across the state to gather insights and establish a common language within the DOC. Based on those findings, TCG has been working with the DOC to instill a culture of excellence, to improve communication, and to build stronger relationships based on the foundation of four key behaviors and skills:
- Communication Styles
- Value Premise
- Effective Feedback
More than 2,000 employees holding supervisor positions throughout the state complete a training program designed to help them master these core skills and cultivate a positive, productive, safe work environment.
Understanding communication styles helps team members understand their own individual communication style strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people they encounter day to day. Team members are then taught how to flex, adapt and become versatile to other communication styles. This approach provides a solid foundation to develop effective, efficient and productive communication within the organization.
Bringing awareness to individual value and how each team member affects the culture as a whole creates clarity and aligns individual actions to DOC’s mission and purpose. The team members then identify what they are willing to commit to and contribute individually to make a strong team. These commitments become the team’s "rules of engagement."
Learning how to give and receive feedback in all situations opens dialog, builds trust and fosters respect throughout the organization. By using feedback effectively, supervisors encourage staff development and personal growth, resulting in higher employee engagement and satisfaction while reducing employee turnover.
Using a process to clarify, listen, restate your understanding and check in to gain agreement helps create positive, open dialog in all situations. This approach also builds trust and fosters respect. Team members learn how to avoid, shift, contain and redirect negativity, supporting a more efficient and productive workplace.