New Year: Time for a Disability Management Program
For many of us, 2020 has been a year that we would like to forget. The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way that many of us do business, and for employers it has emphasized the need both for workplace safety and disability management. As we move into 2021, there is no better time for employers to take a step back and examine their policies surrounding disability management. And for those who don’t already have one, it is time to put a disability management program in place.
Good disability management programs not only help your employees to be happier and healthier, but they also just make good business sense. They can help your company to be more profitable and increase your market share. When a company has employees that are on prolonged absences because of disabilities, it can be very expensive in terms of workers’ compensation premiums, lost productivity, and the expense of training new workers.
But the right disability management program can help your employees recover and come back to work sooner – which is good for employee morale as well as for your bottom line.
If one of your company’s goals for the New Year is to establish a disability management program, here are a few things to consider:
Talk to your management and senior staff and get them to buy in.
Before you roll out your new disability management program, it is important to get buy in from your senior management and union leaders. There could be a misconception that the program is about bringing people back to work who aren’t ready. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to show your senior staff and management that such programs are designed to support injured employees and have a significant impact on the entire company.
Develop a framework.
The next step in developing your disability management program is to set out a framework which outlines who in the company has which responsibilities. The framework should include clear protocols for how employees can access information, prevent workplace accidents, and how they can access support and accommodation if they are injured.
Train your workforce.
For a disability management program to truly be effective, it must be built into the corporate culture. You will need to find ways that you can provide information to and train your workforce. This could include awareness campaigns, orientation sessions, as well as mandatory training.
Early identification and intervention
The best way to reduce absenteeism is to identify the needs of injured employees early and provide them with the support and accommodation necessary for them to return to work. This can take the form of expedited medical tests and treatment as well as workplace accommodations such as special equipment or flex hours.
It is important to remember however that not all employees will feel comfortable in telling their employer what it is that they need, so as part of the disability management process a supervisor or another individual should be assigned to reach out to injured employees and find out what they need to help them return to work.
Measure your results
Finally, in order to ensure that your disability management program is accomplishing what it is supposed to, you should have a way to measure the results. These results may be compared to a benchmark or previous years.
As you gather data, you will be able to make tweaks and adjustments to the program as necessary in order to bring your closer to your goals.
Contact TeksMed today
If you are an employer who would like assistance in helping your employees get medical tests or with return to work programs, contact us today to speak with a member of our team.