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Plan the New Year: Put a Disability Management Process & Procedure in Place

The New Year is a time that we set personal and professional goals. If your company doesn’t have a disability management procedure – or you have one and it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed it – then the start of this new decade is the ideal time to make sure that you’ve got the right processes and procedures in place.

Whether you are looking for your business to become more profitable, increase your market share or improve customer retention, having the right employees who are both present and healthy is going to be key. Prolonged absenteeism due to illness and disability can be very damaging to your company’s success and bottom line. But this can be mitigated with the right disability management plan.

If setting up or updating your disability management plan is one of your business goals for the New Year, then here are our top five tips to consider.

1. Get Support from Senior Staff & Management

One of the first keys to success in any disability management plan is to get senior support both from management and senior union officials. To do this, you may need to show how disability costs affect payroll and how the proper management system can provide support and fairness to an injured worker.

2. Develop a Framework

In developing your disability management program, a clear framework needs to be set in place that outlines specific policies and obligations and clear roles on who is responsible for what. Within the framework, you need to build consistent access for employees to both prevention of accidents as well as accommodation and support if an accident does occur.

3. Training and Awareness

Disability management needs to be built into the corporate culture and must ultimately become the responsibility of everyone including staff, management, union reps, human resources, etc. Look for ways that you can promote this within your company through training and awareness. This may include using strategies such as a communications campaign, posters and promotional materials, employee orientation sessions, mandatory training, and/or dedicated financial and human resources.

4. Early Identification & Intervention

In order to reduce absenteeism, it is important to identify injured or disabled workers early and provide them with the intervention they need to return back to work. When employees receive intervention in the form of medical tests or accommodation at work, they are able to come back to work earlier which benefits both them and the company.

It is important to remember that not every employee will feel comfortable telling their boss that they require special accommodation after they have been injured. This can lead them to stay home longer which may actually make the situation worse. As part of a disability management program, a manager or supervisor should be assigned to have regular communication with the employee which will include asking them what they might require in order to return to work (modified duties, flex hours, etc.).

5. Measurement of Results

Finally, no disability management program is complete without a way to measure the results. Goals should be set for the program so that you may ask at any time how the company is performing against its goals. You can also compare results in the current year to results in the previous year.

As you gather data and communicate the results of the program to management and staff, it can help to drive the program toward greater success.

How TeksMed Can Help

Putting together an effective disability management program can be a challenge, but the professionals at TeksMed have a lot of experience with what does and doesn’t work and can help you develop a program that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of your company.

If implementing or updating your disability management program is one of your company’s goals for 2020 – and it should be – contact TeksMed today for a consultation.

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