Disability Management in 2022: What You Need to Know

In 2022, employers will be faced with many challenges. While there are hopeful signs that the pandemic may finally be loosening its grip on the world, COVID-19 is still a reality. Additionally, the stress of going through a pandemic has taken its toll on our mental health – and employers will have to keep this in mind going into the new year.

So, with all of this in mind, here are a few things you will need to know for disability management in 2022.

Ensure your safety and injury prevention programs are still serving your needs

COVID has changed safety protocols for many businesses and continues to as we learn more about the virus. For example, some workplaces have initiated vaccination policies and specified that employees should wear higher-quality masks.

And COVID may not be the only reason to review your safety policies either. Has your business acquired new equipment or started providing another service in the past year? Ensure that your safety policies are up to date with any changes you have made to your business.

Examine your approach to health and wellness

Disability management in the modern workplace is about more than safety protocol and return to work programs. It is also about showing that you care about your employees’ physical and mental well-being.

For this reason, more and more employers are working to ensure that there is a strong focus on health. Examples of this in the workplace may include lunch and learns that focus on wellness, providing employees with flexible hours and personal days to take care of their mental health, and even (budget permitting) providing employees with healthy meals and gym memberships.

Early intervention for injured and ill workers

It has been proven time and again that the longer an employee is off work due to an injury or illness, the less likely they are to return to work. This has led to early intervention being critical in any effective disability management program.

Employers who participate in programs that assist in helping employees get early medical testing and treatment for illnesses and injuries are typically more successful in bringing their employees back to work earlier and having a healthier workforce overall.

Effective communication and collaboration between all departments

Part of having an effective disability management program is ensuring that all of your managers and supervisors are on board and company policies are clearly communicated with your entire team. This begins by ensuring management is fully trained in the organization’s policies and procedures.

Disability management personnel should be identified within the company, and everyone should know their role in the event of an employee becoming ill or injured at work.

Effective communication of policies and resources to all employees is also crucial to ensure that employees know where and how to access information when required.

Effective return to work policies

Employees can often be reluctant to return to work after an injury or illness because they feel embarrassed or anxious that they may not be able to resume the duties they were performing before their injury.

Remove any sense of stigma and help these employees feel more comfortable by working with the employee to find the accommodations that will assist them in coming back to work. This may include reduced hours, making adjustments to their workspace, offering more frequent breaks, etc.

This, of course, also needs to play into an overall corporate culture that values employees and a willingness to work with them to improve retention and allow full participation in the workplace.

Ongoing evaluation of the program

Finally, it is important to remember that your disability management programs should constantly be evolving and for this to happen, regular ongoing evaluations of its effectiveness should occur. Regularly review the metrics of the program and make adjustments as necessary.

Contact TeksMed today!

Having an effective disability management program in place will be a key to business productivity and worker retention in 2022. If you would like help developing or improving your own disability management program, we would be happy to help. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.

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