When Returning Employee to Work
Remember: It’s All Attitude
There really is more than one way to return an injured employee to work. The difficult part is matching the right return-to-work strategy to the particular worker. Considering the personality and attitude of the worker in question is as important as considering the specific injury when implementing a return-to-work solution.
Just as there are many return-to-work programs successful under given circumstances, there also are a full range of employee attitudes accompanying each case.
Employers must individualize their return-to-work approach to meet the demands of the specific employee’s personality, because the most important factor in return-to-work is the attitude, attitude, attitude — of the employee.
A successful method of training employers to respond properly to the varied employee attitudes to ensure efficient and reasonable work returns is the Employee Attitude Axis.
The Employee Attitude Axis separates workers into four quadrants: active-satisfied; active-dissatisfied; active-dissatisfied; passive-dissatisfied. Interestingly, most employees fit nearly into one of these quadrants and require and respond to different return-to-work strategies.
Handling Satisfied Employees
The active-satisfied employee needs no coercion or prodding to return to work. This worker is one who has been with the company 20 years and hasn’t missed a day and would drag himself or herself to work on one good arm. In this case, a simple get-well card more than suffices for the worker in the active-satisfied category.
The passive-satisfied employee while usually happy at work is a little more complacent. This employee needs some gentle intervention to ensure return to work. Phone calls, weekly meetings and early intervention make sure the worker maintains a positive attitude about the employer and returns to work.
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs.
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ESSENTIAL: This article is Return-to-Work Essentials content.