Having a return to work (RTW) program in place benefits your employees and your business. Employers that offer modified duty to injured workers save money by:
- Speeding their injured workers’ medical recovery
- Reducing claims costs
- Holding down premiums
A successful RTW program is more than just having some guidelines in place, or a few job tasks laid out to help injured employees work while recovering from their injuries. It’s a culture that must be embraced by your entire organization from the top down. This culture focuses on letting your employees know that you care about them as individuals.
Here are three ways you and your supervisors can help foster this culture, as well as promote employee morale and a sense of job security.
When an Accident Occurs
Drop everything. Getting your employees the medical attention they need is a top priority, so make sure your employees understand this. Don’t get caught up in trying to find out what went wrong, or establish “blame” for the accident in the heat of the moment.
After the Accident
Let your employee know that you care about them and their recovery. Send flowers, a get-well card or visit them in person. It’s amazing how much taking a half-hour out of your day can mean to injured employees; it lets them know that they are valued as people first.
Then, stay in touch. A simple phone call once a week just to say “How are you feeling? We miss you around here!” can work wonders.
Getting Back to Work
Offer your injured employee modified duty as soon as he/she receives the medical approval to work with restrictions. Again, make it personal if possible. Even if you have pre-determined job tasks for your business, don’t be afraid to think outside the box; remember modified duty may include modifying their essential or nonessential tasks, limiting work hours or even working in other areas of the business. If you’ve continued your positive relationship, they’ll be eager to get back to work and contribute in any way they can.
Our return to work consultants can assist you in creating a proactive return to work program and they can help you design a plan for an individual claim. Don’t hesitate to call your return to work consultant at (303) 361-4000 for assistance getting your injured employees back to work quickly and safely.