Managing workers’ comp claims is a complex job. You have to coordinate people, paperwork, and the entire process. Increasing employee engagement during this time will help you create better outcomes.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
1. They can remain productive as they heal, by easing their way back to work. This keeps company business on track. And it prevents loss of job skills. It also helps your injured worker continue to earn a living.
2. They don’t feel cut off from their workplace and co-workers. That raises morale, which supports recovery.
3. It helps your injured worker focus on a positive outcome. He will not see himself as a “disabled victim.” Instead, he can look forward to returning to work as soon as he is well enough.
4. It increases the likelihood your employeewillreturn to work. Only half of injured workers out for 12 weeks or more actually return.
Make Returning to Work the Priority
Your company should create an official Return-to-Work (RTW) program. This tells injured workersright from the start that there is a plan in place to help them. They know you expect them to return to work. They know you are committed to helping them do that.
An effective RTW program helps cut workers’ comp costs by reducing time off work. Injured employees return to work about 1.4 times faster when their company had an RTW program. That can reduce disability leave time an average of 3-4 weeks.
An RTW program helps your company meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Plus, an RTW program increases engagement with your injured employee as they recover.
Make Your Worker a Partner in their Own Recovery
Stay in touch with your employee. Stay in touch with his or her doctor, physical therapist, and the claims adjuster. Everyone should have the same information about progress. This helps determine if your worker can return for light or modified duty. Talk to them about any accommodations you might need to make to help your worker return sooner.
Regular communication shows you care about their progress. And it gives you a personal chance toencourage them. Work with their supervisor and co-workers to create a positive environment. That will help your injured worker feel comfortable about returning.
Offer On-site Physical Therapy
This helps your injured worker stayconnected with their worksite. They are “coming to work” on a regular basis, if only for therapy sessions a couple of times a week. This also helps them stayconnected to their fellow workers. Everyone can see them getting better.
On-site physical therapy is more convenient foryour employee. They can skip the time and hassle of going to an offsite clinic. They have more time to rest and recover at home. That creates goodwill with your injured worker and his or her family.
Employee engagement can lead to shorter, less costly claims, and boost employee satisfaction. That’s a more successful outcome for everyone.