Where Are You Now?
Your team has reviewed all the recommendations stemming from planning meetings and received a workers’ compensation assessment score. One person from the planning team completes the benchmarking questionnaire and the benchmarks are automatically calculated. Print all benchmarks and bring copies to the next team meeting. The 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey contains benchmarks for Workers’ Compensation operational procedures such as: return to work, cost allocation programs, visiting the medical provider and 7 other steps that companies with low workers’ comp costs routinely do.
Where Are You Going?
A very important (actually critical) part of implementing a top-notch workers’ compensation program is to analyze benchmarks and develop program goals. Knowing company goals, i.e., where you want to go, is as important as knowing where you are now. A systematic method of achieving these goals will save the company money and make your employees happier.
At the risk of being repetitive, benchmarks allow the planning team to set goals for the program. This enables the staff to know what is expected of them before they begin their specific roles in the project.
If employees have written, specific directives they know how high to reach and the process moves along smoothly.
For example, Charity Smith is instructed to research four insurance company positions, such as claims adjustor or medical billing manager. In doing so, she becomes the expert and can report this information back to the team and, in turn, the entire staff. Telling Ms. Smith she is specifically responsible for four pieces of information allows her to know what is expected of her – and gives her the opportunity to exceed what is asked of her. This breakdown of roles and responsibilities causes your company to get the workers’ compensation program into action clearly and quickly.
As a team, discuss the benchmarks and compare them to your company’s current baselines. Using these comparisons, you identify gaps between current and best practices. This is a good yardstick for establishing goals for performance and improvement by setting preliminary injury rates, return-to-work ratios and lost-workday goals. (workersxzcompxzkit)
Even if injury rates are consistent with industry benchmarks, your goal is to beat the industry average. Your ultimate goal may be to become best-in-class.
Author Robert Elliott can be contacted at: Robert_Elliott@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers’ comp issues.
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