Well the holidays are drawing to a close and that means it’s going to be time to get back to a normal work routine. Speaking of returning to work, if you have employees coming off of a Workers’ Compensation claim put a Return to Work program in place.
There are a lot of reasons to do this but the most important one is to insure that your employees remain a vital and useful part of your staff while recovering from the injury. Giving them modified assignments or allowing them to perform alternate duties reduces long term claims and leads to more rapid recovery and a return to “full time“ status.
There are other benefits as well. The cost of hiring a replacement worker might be less initially but you lose productivity all across the board as you have to train and deal with learning curves. Sometimes it’s better to have a knowledgeable worker at half speed than a novice at full. Also, if you decide not to replace your worker but make do you are increasing the work and the responsibilities of your work staff which may lead to morale issues.
By creating a Return to Work program you are able to demonstrate that you care about your workers and are willing to accommodate your injured workers rather than lose them.
It’s a win win for the employee as well. The injured employee who can return to work sooner tends not to fall into a spiral of helplessness and depression and instead keeps their self esteem. Also paying them their full or partial wage puts more money in their pocket that their Workers’ Compensation benefit. Most importantly, keeping the pattern and rewards of work will help the employee recover and become a full time member of your workforce sooner.