Whether a fatherhood program is an independent organization or part of a larger organization, buy-in and support of all staff are vital. Regardless of responsibilities, all staff should take part in training about the overall program mission and goals as well as awareness training about the needs of fathers. Supportive staff contribute to an environment where workers, fathers, and families feel welcome and safe.
All staff that interact with fathers (from the first interactions at the reception desk through leadership) should understand the program’s objectives and create a welcoming environment. Staff who work primarily with mothers should receive training on promoting the fatherhood programs to encourage referrals and effectively engage fathers.
Tips & Best Practices
- Programs that are successful in engaging fathers display the following: they have an agency-wide commitment to engaging fathers, they have staff who understand the potential positive and negative impact of fathers on their children’s development, and they consider and involve fathers in intervention planning.
- To promote teamwork, include staff in key decisions. It shows that you respect and value their input.
- A successful fatherhood program takes a team that buy in to the mission of connecting fathers to their families. You need a network of staff who understand the importance of fatherhood in the community.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections has case managers who work individually with each family, contacting co-parents or caregivers to help them make arrangements for visitation and to assist them in obtaining and submitting the documentation required by facilities to allow a child to visit. Co-parents have been able to bring their children with them to facility-based parenting classes, which include children’s books and coloring supplies for the classrooms.
Why is employee buy-in important?
Effective fatherhood programs require staff members to be knowledgeable about the program and its participants. Staff contribute to an environment where all fathers and families can feel welcome and safe. Staff that are trained about program mission and goals as well as awareness training about the needs of fathers are positive and motivated in their work.
What are common barriers to buy-in?
- While there are a number of reasons stopping employee buy-in, 5 common reasons are:
- Lack of clarity
- Overbearing rules and procedures
- Lack of work/life balance
- Poor management decisions
How do I start establishing buy-in from employees?
- To start developing staff buy-in:
- Involve staff from the beginning.
- Create and maintain ongoing communication.
- Build trust.
- Regularly acknowledge all staff.
- Provide visible leadership support.
- Celebrate successes regularly.