Having a worker injured at work is not ideal for anyone, you as the employer, or the worker as the injured party. Having a smooth and successful outcome is the best outcome for everyone involved. But how do you achieve this and what can you, as the employer do to make this happen?
As the employer you are one of the key stakeholders in the return to work and recovery process and your actions or inactions will heavily manipulate the whole outcome of the claim. Here are four tips to help you keep your injured worker(s) engaged.
- Keep in touch – Have regular, authentic conversations with the injured worker. Offer them empathy and assistance and let them know you genuinely care. Remind your worker they are a valued team member and that everyone is looking forward to them returning to work in whatever capacity. Above all, ensure the communication is respectful.
- Plan for their return to work – From very early on ask your worker what they think they can do. Ask them what modifications you can make to support their return to work. Invite them to attend meetings, to come in for lunch or Friday night drinks and make them feel welcome when they arrive.
- Help them navigate the system – For most injured worker’s this will be their first injury and their first experience with the workers compensation system so they will likely come to you for help and answers. Tell them what you know and guide them where you can. If you don’t know the answer get it for them or encourage them to speak to their Case Manager or Occupational Rehabilitation Provider. And finally…
- Do not place blame – The Victorian Workcover system has a no-fault scheme. Research suggests that those who place blame are less likely to make a timely and successful return to work and recovery. If one party starts blaming then the other party tends to follow, leaving no room for winners. When each party takes responsibility and works together to achieve their dual goal of a successful return to work and recovery, then the outcome will always be a win win.
For more information regarding return to work or to assist with any claims you may have at your workplace, please contact Return to Work Plus. www.returntoworkplus.com.au