Senior managers are often removed from a workers’ compensation program. This can have a negative impact on the direction a program takes. Now is the time to rein in workers’ compensation program costs by having senior and upper management take a renewed interest in these matters and run a more efficient program.
Roles of a Senior Manager in Workers’ Compensation Programs
Upper management is generally more concerned about “big picture” issues, removing them from the nuts and bolts of a workers’ compensation program. Examples of this include a focus on more significant outcomes and running operations on a macro-level. The result is a removal from decisions that impact a workers’ compensation program. When this occurs, several vital issues can be examined from a leadership standpoint:
- Safety, injury avoidance, and mitigation;
- Concern about the bottom line and not paying attention to the details; and
- Return to work efforts.
Now is the time for senior management to become more engaged on these issues to help their workers’ compensation programs become more effective.
Emphasis on Safety and Injury Reduction
Workplace safety only takes place when there is complete engagement by all levels of employees when it comes to workplace safety. Senior management needs to be actively involved in this issue and help set the right tone. Necessary steps that can be taken in this regard include:
- Complete review of the “cost” workers’ compensation has on the company’s bottom line. An examination needs to be placed as to whether this is not a “tax” on business;
- Engagement with middle management and supervisors when it comes to workplace safety. Their door not only needs to be open, but senior managers need to be visible within the workplace; and
- Demand everyone to be treated with compassion and empathy.
Senior management can also drive program efficiency by promoting a reduction in lost workdays performance metrics.
Paying Attention to the Details
It is also crucial for senior management to care about the details of workers’ compensation programs. This includes the need to review metrics tracked and ensure the right ones are being reviewed. It is also important to under how processes within the workplace function and there can be an improvement. Factors to consider can include:
- A comprehensive review of the number and frequency of work injuries within the workplace. This is especially true for larger companies where there are multiple job sites;
- Review of the number of employees who are off work and how long they are off work following a work injury;
- Review of employees who are transitioning from work injuries and in a modified job capacity; and
- Identification of obstacles that prevent senior management from impacting change. Often these are structural barriers within an organization based on firm culture.
Now is the time for senior management to get involved.
Emphasis on Return to Work – Reduce Time Lost Following Injuries
Senior management must become involved in the return to work process. This will drive program efficiency and reduce money spent under a workers’ compensation program. Now is the time for all persons in an upper leadership position to become engaged on this issue.
- Promotes discussion between upper and middle management on how to engage supervisors to work with employees on getting back to work following a work injury.
- Promotes a reduction in the number of days lost from work following a work injury. Employees want to get back to work following a work injury. There are intangible benefits when this takes place.
- Promotes and encourages people to think outside the box. This goes beyond modifying a position. It can include “work on loan” programs and the use of the federal Ticket To Work program.
There are countless benefits when employers promote the return to work efforts. These benefits go beyond the bottom line – it improves workplace morale and makes employees feel appreciated.
Upper and senior management play an essential role in workers’ compensation programs. This can include reducing workplace injuries and getting more involved in company policy. It can also pay dividends in workers’ compensation programs from a financial standpoint and increase workplace morale – demonstrate to employees that they are valued. Now is the time for senior managers to get involved and pay attention to their workers’ compensation program.
Author Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 the founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center, which offers the Certified Master of Workers’ Compensation national designation.
Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: https://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/
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