B1 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Archive for October, 2014

Looking At Our Three-Point “Vocational Rehab Assessments”

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Happy businessman and businesswoman posing back to backWhen an employee is set to return to work after a long layoff, it’s a process that is far different than when a brand new employee enters a workplace for the first time. Of course, there is generally on-the-job training required for both situations. But when an individual who has suffered an injury or illness has been away from the workplace for a significant period of time, he or she must endure a sensitive process before the return.

Naturally, sensitivity is required to handle delicate situations. And depending on one’s reason for the layoff, particular steps may need to be taken to ensure that the transition from the hospital to the home and then to the job is as smooth and comfortable as possible. At Independence Incorporated, we offer “Vocational Rehab Assessments” that enable us to meet with clients to assess their abilities to return to work safely.

The process is often done over three “points”. The three point assessments seek to discover the various issues that may still be persisting through in-person visits. We feel that this is an important process for both the client and his or her employer. And there is a reason why we are so thorough. By conducting all three points, we ensure that our assessments are both complete and accurate. Let’s take you through each point.

One Point Assessment. This is also known as the “Client Interview”. During the one point assessment, an injured or ill client is interviewed in our office. However, we are also happy to accommodate our clients by visiting them in their homes if it is preferred. During this interview, we discover the various needs and requirements of the clients in order to establish his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Two Point Assessment. In this case, we would conduct the client interview, but also follow it with an in-person consultation. This is done with the client’s signed consent. It can also be done through written correspondence with the primary caregivers involved. During this process, we clarify the appropriate support and rehabilitation interventions that are needed in order to maximize the quality of life of our client and his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Three Point Assessment. In addition to the client interview and in-person consultation, we pay a visit to the client’s worksite in order to meet with the employer. It’s very beneficial for both the returning worker and his or her employer to be on the same page about the various tasks that are listed as the employee’s responsibilities. Can they be carried out with relative ease or is additional support required?

We seek to answer such a question by focusing on a few key points. Firstly, we wish to clarify any issues that may be related to the client’s performance history. Secondly, we seek to verify if the employee’s work needs to be modified. Thirdly, we assess whether or not there are any worksite conflicts that may exist that could hinder the employee’s return to work. And finally, we look to create a joint team effort approach between management and union.

It is important to note that any information that is related to medical diagnoses and conditions of our clients is not shared with their employers. Employers, however, are entitled to know about the potential of functional limitations that may have resulted from an employee’s illness or injury. If there are restrictions that affect the employee’s ability to meet the demands of the job, an employer must be informed.

For more information about our “Vocational Rehab Assessments”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

6 Solutions For Boosting Team Spirit

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Depositphotos_3231546_xsNaturally, there are many different facets to a safe and comfortable return to work by an employee who has had a long layoff due to illness or injury. But in our experience, one of the most important aspects of a comfortable return is a positive working environment. And in order for a working environment to be a positive one, the people who fill it each and every day need to be in high spirits.

It can be argued then that one of the most important components to one’s successful return to the workplace is an office that is high in team spirit. Of course, this requires business owners and team managers to put forth efforts to ensure that their staff members are receiving ample amounts of motivation on a daily basis. All members of a staff need to be happy when coming in to work each day to really create a positive working environment. Here are six ways to boost team spirit.

1. Be Honest. We’ve all heard the term “honesty is the best policy.” According to Ralph Heibutzki on Chron.com, this is especially true for team managers looking to boost team spirit. “Keeping secrets inhibits staff from giving its best,” he writes, “Employees who know what’s going on are more likely to share your vision and care about making it happen…To promote morale, hold regular informal meetings, but don’t limit the agenda to major announcements.”

2. Recognize Success. A huge part of building team spirit is giving credit where credit is due. Staff members deserve to be recognized for their jobs well done. Letting them know that their contributions matter certainly goes a long way. “Look for workers who contribute to a team atmosphere and have a ‘can do’ attitude,” suggests Gina Scott on GlobalPost.com, “Give a monthly award to the person who jumped in and helped out the most, such as when a co-worker was sick or on medical leave.”

3. Get Everyone Involved. Perhaps there is nothing better to boost team spirit than to encourage employees to actually work as a team. “Collaborative decision-making is a key element in team building,” writes Heibutzki. Be sure to encourage feedback during team meetings and truly listen to what each member of your team has to contribute. Implement the best ideas in your company policies. You may also want to inspire friendly competition among the various members of your team.

4. Play Some Games. Speaking of friendly competition, it won’t hurt your bottom line to sometimes turn work into play. Firstly, you can promote productivity by creating teams within your team to try to inspire everyone to outdo their counterparts. Secondly, for an excellent way to boost morale, you may want to create games that build trust and communication. “Activities like these show co-workers how to produce better as a group,” says Scott.

5. Promote Work/Life Balance. No matter how fun you make the workplace, employees will always cherish time with their friends and family more. It’s just a fact of life. By appropriately balancing out one’s work life with his or her personal life, it helps for that person to be that much more enthusiastic about his or her job. “Cohesion and morale suffers when employees feel tethered to their computers, or see little relief from unrealistic workloads,” warns Heibutzki.

6. Get Out of the Office. Perhaps one of the best ways to make the office a more enjoyable place to be is to get out of it more often! “Getting team members out of their element helps them think from a new perspective and build camaraderie,” informs Scott, “Retreats can last all day or a weekend. They can be filled with trust exercises and motivational speeches that build loyalty to the company brand and to each other.”

Discussing Our “Discharge Planning” Services

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Doctor Nurse & PatientBeing able to exude a sense of confidence has a lot to do with being prepared. Quite often, we get nervous when we’re meeting someone new as we may not be sure what to say. Stage fright is a common occurrence when you’re required to speak in front of a large audience. And, of course, beginning a new job always comes with its elements of anxiety. However, returning to a state of normalcy in one’s life can be especially concerning after a long stay in the hospital.

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to ensuring that people making the transition from the hospital to the community are always prepared. Getting people prepared, by the way, means giving them the confidence that they are completely capable of handling the everyday tasks that come with their regular lives, let alone their job positions. It also entails being in the right emotional state.

Needless to say, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to return to what may have become unfamiliar territory. This is why Independence Incorporated offers Discharge Planning services. We make it our mission to ensure that people who are leaving the hospital following their fight with an illness or injury are able to do so comfortably. Through our Discharge Planning services, our staff is able to assist in a number of ways.

In-hospital personal care needs. Of course, the road to recovery begins in the hospital. So before a person is discharged, our staff looks into whether or not certain support services are required for our clients during their hospital stays. As well, we determine if patients require devices that will help for their daily lives to be easier. Again, it’s all about making the transition from the hospital to regular life a lot more comfortable.

Home assessments. What will it be like for patients to leave the hospital and return home? Will they require additional assistance to get around their homes? Do their homes need to be wheelchair accessible or will other amendments to the living areas need to be made to make their day-to-day lives more manageable? These are some of the questions that we answer when doing our home assessments for clients.

Rehabilitation services. Our staff is well trained in making the best possible recommendations for our clients. Before returning to the community, we take a look at the various programs that can be put in place to help them get back to optimum health. Naturally, all of this will have to be done before they can safely return to work as well. At Independence Incorporated, we believe in adequate preparation for each transition.

We know that discharged patients have a lot of questions. They want to know their options once they’ve left the hospital. For example, who may be available to provide home health care? What can they do to help themselves get better? What problems should they watch for? Who can they contact if they have any questions? Not to mention, when a patient is discharged, he or she may still need assistance with everyday tasks.

Who is going to help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, climbing stairs, cooking, food shopping, house cleaning, paying the bills and getting to doctors’ appointments? This is especially concerning if there are no caregivers available in one’s family. Answering these and other questions is actually a big part of the recovery process. For more information about our “Discharge Planning” services, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.