Employees who are injured, whether at work or elsewhere, may need to take time off to recover. Depending on the severity of injuries, returning to work may be a difficult readjustment. Creating a back to work program can be beneficial to both employees—who often wish to continue making positive contributions to the business—and employers—who don’t want to lose valuable, experienced workers.
When developing a back to work program, you must consider many factors including the physical workspace. Is it handicap accessible? Do you need to install ramps or handrails in the restrooms? Once you know what must be physically done, you’ll need to consider the returning employee’s capabilities. Plan a phone call in which you can discuss this with the employee to determine if he or she is able to perform his or her current job, or if alternative work must be created.
Oftentimes, an employee may need to settle for alternative work until his or her regular job can be resumed after more recovery time. However, some circumstances may require a permanent transition. Either way, find tasks that are within the employee’s capabilities, which may require shifting some duties around. Another key piece of a back to work program is allowing flexibility. A recovering worker may need to come in a bit later each morning or may need to reduce hours down to part-time. Adapting to such needs prevents an employer from losing a quality employee.
A back to work program should also include factors associated with the other employees who work on the same team as the recovering employee. These teammates may have an increased workflow, at least temporarily, to compensate for the extra need. Keep a clear, open line of communication in which you inform employees of new duties, how long they can be expected to last and health updates about the injured employee. In these situations, it’s easy for teammates to become overwhelmed. Cut them some slack and focus on praising their achievements to boost morale.
Though making modifications may be an initial investment, it helps your business retain quality employees and it can even save you money on your workers compensation premium, depending on your insurance provider.
Want to learn about more ways to save? Call ECI Insurance Agency at (405) 373-2977 for a Oklahoma City workers compensation insurance quote.