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Connections - 06.01.23

Insights From the 2023 Relias DSP Survey Report

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Relias, in partnership with the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), recently released the 2023 DSP Survey Report. The report offers a deeper dive into trends uncovered in previous Relias reports, with more targeted data on certain aspects of the DSP experience, including:

  • Appreciation, recognition, and well-being.
  • Career advancement, training, and growth.
  • DSP supervision.

The trends from the 2023 DSP Survey Report show that while many DSPs are happy with their current organizations, there is more that leaders can do to retain and engage DSP staff members.

Appreciating Your Direct Support Professionals

The results showed that a large majority of DSPs (80%) deemed it very or extremely important to receive recognition from their supervisors, with almost two-thirds (64%) preferring to receive this one-to-one recognition in private.

This has proven a consistent trend over the last several years. In the 2021 Relias DSP Survey Report, 84% of respondents reported that it was very or extremely important to receive recognition from their supervisors, with 69% preferring one-to-one, private recognition.

By recognizing DSPs the way they wish to be recognized, you can also promote employee well-being. While 55% of respondents reported that they believe their supervisors care about their psychological well-being, only 34% firmly believe that their organizational leaders care about their psychological well-being. By showing greater appreciation for the great work DSPs do for your organization, you can start to improve these numbers.

Career Growth

Similar to recognition efforts, we found that respondents valued career advancement opportunities, including educational programs and viable paths to leadership. Unfortunately, 26% of respondents reported that their organization does not offer these types of opportunities.

To help you begin the journey toward a better culture of learning that emphasizes training and internal advancement, we asked DSPs what type of career advancement programs they would find most impactful. Here’s what we found:

  • 38% would like their organization to pay for educational opportunities toward a degree.
  • 32% want their organization to pay for a certificate program (e.g., CNA).
  • 27% are interested in a professional ladder to a leadership position in their company.
  • 18% would enjoy becoming a mentor/supervisor.
  • 13% are interested in participating in a professional conference.


When it came to DSP supervision, we found two important trends. DSPs who reported being satisfied with their supervisor were more likely to enjoy working for their organization and more likely to report that they have a safe avenue to provide feedback on their supervisor.

Though most respondents (81%) reported that it was important to have these feedback channels available, just over half (59%) reported they currently had an avenue to safely provide feedback.

Though this is up from our 2021 survey when 55% of respondents reported having an avenue to safely provide feedback, this still leaves 41% of respondents feeling that they cannot provide feedback on their supervisor.

Chris Barnes is Demand Generation Marketing Manager for ANCOR Diamond Partner Relias.