It is critically important that management makes return-to-work programs part of the corporate culture. The employee’s expectations should be that if/when they go out on workers’ compensation, they will return to work immediately in some form of transitional work capacity. What are a few of the tools that can be used to make return to work part of the culture?
11 Simple Ways to Make Return to Work Part of Corporate Culture
- Talk about RTW in a positive way- never badmouth the jobs, the participants or the concept.
- Make RTW a positive experienceby finding productive tasks or jobs. Never have transitional duty jobs be punitive.
- Demonstrate the costof NOT doing it, and the savings OF doing it by showing it to employees in terms they understand and management in terms understood by executives.
- Incorporate RTW in all policies and procedures such asMedical Policy and/or Leave of Absence Policy, Wellness Policy.
- Make it amandatory requirement of employment – so all employees expect to be treated in a similar fair manner.
- Holdweekly meetings to discuss obstacles to return to work – keeps employees “connected” and employers stay on top of the worker’s abilities.
- Send Get Well Cards for colleagues that are injured. Perhaps include a gift card to Papa Johns’s or a local restaurant or one that delivers with the card.
- Maintain the rules strictly and make them standardized.
- Show supervisors the cost savings and benefits (they have less retraining, for example).
- Don’t hesitate to use vendors that do on-site work hardening and RTW coaching.
- Include them in workplace activitieswhile they are recovering. Don’t forget to include them in meetings, events while they are injured. Once they are out of work they can easily become alienated and lose social contacts, so continue to include them in workplace activities even if they are doing a partial schedule while they work toward full duty.
These are just a few ways to make RTW part of your corporate culture. Start now, and take small steps. Stick with the program and gradually it will be accepted.
Author Michael Stack, Principal, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .
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