Beginning with Communication
Effective communication is paramount when it comes to the success of a Return-to-Work program. At ReEmployAbility, we understand the pivotal role communication plays in the engagement of employees with their modified duty assignments. Creating and maintaining consistent communication is a key to successful light-duty assignments. From updates from the Employer regarding changes in medical restrictions to adjusters updating on the status of a file, all stakeholders on the claim must work together to ensure that we have all the required information for a rewarding Transition2Work placement for employees. To take full advantage of communication, all parties need to be invested to create the best possible outcome for their employees.
This was exemplified through a recent Transition2Work referral from Ken Dalton, the Director of Employee Health & Safety at one of our client organizations. Even before Ken Dalton referred his employee to ReEmployAbility, he set up the opportunity for optimal success. When Ken’s employee was injured on the job, Ken was worried about how this injury would affect his worker – their employee was having difficulties adjusting after their injury and it was becoming difficult to accommodate them on-site. In this case, it was pivotal for him as the Employer to have a conversation with his injured worker before a Transition2Work set up. Prior to referring the employee, Ken reached out to them, providing crucial information about their participation in a Transition2Work program. As Ken explained to his employee, he could volunteer with a local non-profit while accommodating his medical restrictions.
Ken stated, “We want to help [our employees] through their injuries,” and trusted ReEmployAbility to make that happen. This is a common practice for Ken’s company and has resulted in other smooth Transition2Work placements with ReEmployAbility.
Communication Best Practices for Success
By initiating this direct dialogue, Ken ensured that the employee was well-informed and had the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns with the Human Resources Department. Such proactive communication sets the stage for success and empowers employees to approach their modified assignments with confidence.
In addition to the proactive approach taken by this client, ReEmployAbility also initiates communication with the stakeholders on the claimbefore an assignment is found. In this case, the employee had retained an attorney which created more nuance and complexities in handling communication on the file. Our team reached out to the Defense Attorney to review the details of the file before proceeding, ensuring that questions could be resolved before the commencement of an assignment. This assuaged any fears that could come up from litigation concerns.
Maintaining an Open Flow of Contact
Once an employee begins their modified duty assignment, our dedication to communication continues. Regular check-ins allow us to gather updated information on the employees’ progress, ask meaningful open-ended questions about their experience, and address any concerns they may have. These follow-ups are shared with all contacts on the file, enabling prompt attention if needed. By maintaining an upfront line of communication, ReEmployAbility creates a collaborative partnership aimed at assuring a smooth modified duty assignment. Check-ins allow employees to feel secure and supported in their recovery and allow us to address any concerns.
During their modified assignment, Ken’s employee had the opportunity to contribute to a nonprofit by greeting customers, arranging merchandise, and maintaining an organized work area, all duties within his medical restrictions. During this assignment, the employee affirmed that he felt his “experience with the nonprofit has been overall positive”. This feedback underscores the importance of proactive communication in creating a smooth Transition2Work opportunity for injured workers. We were able to create a positive experience for him due to his properly being onboarded for the program. After reaching a positive settlement after 4 months, the claim was closed. Ken stated that this was a “best-case scenario” for this workers’ compensation claim and was happy with the resolution.
ReEmployAbility Prioritizes Strong Employee-Employer Connection
ReEmployAbility enables injured workers to maintain a strong connection with their employer during their recovery. Embracing direct communication is key in an assignment. Modified duty assignments provide the necessary medical accommodations and serve as a vital link between employees and their place of employment during an injury. Ken Dalton expressed that he would recommend the Transition2Work program stating: “[I] can help my workers feel connected to their company and that we still care.”
Throughout the entire journey, from the onset of injury to the very end of the assignment, clear and direct communication played a pivotal role in facilitating this success. ReEmployAbility remains committed to empowering employees and fostering open dialogue. We recognize the significant impact that communication has on the overall well-being of injured workers. By working together on main lines of communication, we can do the very best for all our injured workers in a Transition2Work assignment.