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Injured WorkerIf an employee is injured, whether at work or elsewhere, he or she may need to take some time off to recover before resuming work. During this time, create a return to work program (if you don't already have one) to ease injured workers back into their jobs, even if that means a worker must do alternative tasks while allowing for more recovery time.

A return to work program consists of three main parts: the physical workplace, flexible work tasks and the effects felt by team members. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

The physical workplace should be fully handicap accessible. If not already present, install ramps around the premises and handrails in the bathrooms. Before an employee returns, set up a phone call to discuss any additional needs to accommodate the employee’s capabilities.

During recovery, an employee may only be able to resume work part time and/or may need different duties. It may require a bit of shifting of duties, but it's usually simple to find tasks that an injured employee is capable of performing. This allows him or her to continue making positive contributions to the business until normal duties can resume. Bear in mind, some severe cases may make these needs permanent.

Anytime an employee is out, his or her teammates are affected. In the case of a recovering worker, team members may have a temporary increase in workflow to compensate for the extra need. Be sure to clearly communicate how long this is expected to last. During this time, focus on praising jobs well done, and maybe treat the team to lunch or donuts. It's the little things that help boost morale during a difficult, stressful time.

Though creating a return to work program requires an initial investment, it is beneficial to both employees — who wish to remain contributing members of the workforce — and employers — who wish to hold on to valuable, experienced workers.

Offer your workers the best. Call Sound Benefit Solutions at (925) 244-1330 for more information on San Francisco employee benefits.
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