Click the button below to download a sample Alternative Return to Work Worksheet which provides a template for outlining possible alternative and modified work duty options for injured employees based on type of injury.
Use this worksheet as a guide in building out your formalized return to work program.
3) Create A Return To Work Workflow Guide
Return to work program improvement number three is to have a workflow document that is circulated to all employees and hopefully updated on an as-needed and regular basis.
Again, it’s all about creating a culture where people are understanding of injuries and accepting of employees coming back into the business at different timetables with different percentages of full functionality and it limits animosity.
It limits frustration and misunderstanding and helps facilitate communication inside your company.
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4) Include Supervisors In Return To Work Planning
You want them to understand what this person’s injury is, and what things they’ll be doing when they come back.
Maybe they have some input into how that person can be as productive as possible while still operating inside the nature of their injury.
By getting supervisors on board early and often, you get their buy-in, you get their input, and you ultimately turn them into ambassadors for that injured employee as they start to re-acclimate into your business.
5) Early Contact With Injured WorkersReturn to work program improvement number five, contact the employee early with an understanding of what their injury is.
Different injuries will give people time depending on the type of injury. But as soon as is appropriate, reach out to that employee, get a feel for how they are, and let them know that the organization is thinking about them and considering them.
Let them know that the organization wants them back in and will help them as much as they can become part of the business again.
When you’re injured, often, all that you want is to get your life going again, and you don’t want to be sitting at home. You want to be part of the team.
You want to feel like you have purpose and meaning.
When a company can reach out early and let that employee know that they want them back in a very appropriate way, it improves the process because everyone gets aligned and starts pushing in the same direction.
6) Have A Return To Work Program Owner
Return to work program improvement number six, have a return to work program owner, someone who just owns this process, all these documents that we’ve talked about, all these communications, whether it’s someone in the HR function, someone in the management function.
For smaller organizations, this may be part of someone’s job.
Maybe they’re a team, or maybe there’s a committee that handles return-to-work stuff. It all depends on how frequently injuries happen at your place of work, but maybe a committee gets all the documents initially done and then an individual can handle things on an ongoing basis.
But having someone or a group responsible for this program greatly improves its effectiveness and efficiency.
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7) Information Exchange With Healthcare Provider
The last return to work program improvement number seven is having information exchange and open comms with healthcare providers, regardless of what type of care is being done for that injured employee, that injured worker, understanding who their doctors are, who their physicians are, who their healthcare providers are, being able to exchange information with them, get them any documents they need, and vice-versa, understanding what that person is capable of, helping understand what their limitations are.
These types of communication greatly improve the process as a whole because there’s no misunderstanding as to what a worker is capable of.
It also reduces any potential adversarial nature in these relationships.
Again, it’s all about creating a culture of acceptance, understanding, get people pointing in the same direction.
From our experience here at Rogue Risk, in the vast majority of cases, what everybody wants, the injured employee, the business, healthcare providers, and family members, is to get that injured worker back to 100% of their job functionalities as quickly as possible, and having a smooth, consistent, documented return to work program can get that done for everyone.
I know this is complex stuff. I know it seems like a lot. I hope it helps you.
Please download the sample worksheet that I suggested above.
If your current insurance professional has never addressed issues such as total cost of risk or return-to-work programs with you, I’d encourage you to reach out to us today.
- You can call or text us at 518.960.6600
- Click here to contact us via email.
I look forward to introducing you to a new way of viewing your insurance program.