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The 5 Critical Components of a Successful Return-to-Work Program
This article includes a list of five essential elements to a successful return to work program.
Regardless of the size of your organization, there is a very good chance that some point, the company is going to have to deal with an employee going on leave. Because of this, most Human Resource professionals are very well equipped to handle the logistics of what your employee needs in terms of leave – short-term, long-term, disability, etc. – but it is a common pitfall to only think about employee needs in terms of their time out of the office.
Companies that invest efforts in building an effective return-to-work (RTW) program experience benefits not only for the organization but for the employee as well. An effective RTW program is structured to help injured or disabled employees get back on the job quicker and stay on the job without re-injury with tailored solutions that are built to meet the unique needs of the employee. Much like putting a puzzle together, a well-built RTW program can fit the necessary pieces together to improve outcomes for both the employee and the employer.
Benefits of a Return-to-Work Program
An effective RTW program has benefits for both the organization and the employee, including:
Elements of an Effective Return-to-Work Program
Every person is different, much like every injury is different. That’s why when building your RTW program, it’s important to ensure you have all of the pieces necessary to meet the needs of the injured worker. When it comes to building a return-to-work program, there are five critical components needed to ensure your company is built to figure out the RTW puzzle and maximize benefits for both the employee and the organization.
- Job Analysis
Having defined, objective measurements of each job’s actual physical, cognitive/behavioral, and environmental demands is critical in safely returning employees to work. This data is essential in making informed, safe, and defensible return-to-work decisions.
- Interactive Process
This collaborative process involving the employer and employee is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and helps determine when an employee can return to work after an injury.
- Early Return-to-Work and Graduated Return-to-Work Plans
Building two types of plans – one that focuses on returning the employee as quickly as possible, and the other on reintroduction to work over a specific period – offers employers flexibility to ensure optimized employee progress.
- Return-to-Work Job Coaching/Ergonomic Analysis
When your employee gets back on the job, you want to keep them there. That’s why return-to-work job coaching is critical as it provides a resource to help the employee safely resume activities while reducing the risk of re-injury.
- Off-Site Placement
An off-site temporary job placement helps ensure the employee remains productive during their medical rehabilitation and often results in a healthier and faster return to work.
When all five elements are built into a return-to-work program, employers can expect to return employees to work both faster and more safely. Beyond simply returning employees to work, an effective RTW program is also built to help keep them on the job.
At Briotix Health, we have been helping companies improve their return-to-work and stay-at-work outcomes for more than 25 years. To learn more about our RTW solutions, download our return-to-work brochure.