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

Posts Tagged ‘return to work’

6 Steps To Retraining Returning Employees

Posted by

Employee trainingWhen it has come time for a worker to return to his or her job after a long absence, it is understandably difficult. It’s not just difficult for the employee, however. It requires a great deal of effort from the employer to ensure that his or her returning staff member is given all of the tools necessary to do the job. This often means that retraining is required. It stands to reason that someone who has spent a lot of time away from the job will need to become reacquainted with it.

As a result, an appropriate training regimen needs to be put in place. And this type of training should be tailored in such a way that it addresses the various needs and potential limitations of the employee that is returning to work. In many cases, there may be sensitivities that need to be respected. So what is the best way to retrain a returning employee? Well, it’s a process that takes several steps. Here are six important ones.

1. Clearly define the job. It’s important to make clear to your returning staff member what is expected of him or her. In some cases, the role may have been changed to suit the skill set and physical abilities of the employee. On Blogging4Jobs.com, Eric Friedman offers some insight into the approach. “Itemize the main points or duties of the new task or policy,” he advises, “You’ll need to manage your employee’s knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the new task or adhere to new policies while training.”

2. Get the right trainer. A good retraining program is important. But it’s only as good as the individual doing the training. It’s important to select a knowledgeable and friendly member of your staff who is good with interacting with others. “The trainer needs to be sensitive to the situation of the trainee,” writes Lynn A. Emmert on MasterControl.com, “but s/he also must keep in mind the goals of the retraining and the needs of the organization.”

3. Provide regular follow-ups. Don’t leave your returning employee in the dark. Be sure to check up with your staff member to foster a strong comfort level with being back on the job. This will be especially important once the training schedule has been completed. “Once the trainings have come to an end, make sure to set a follow-up appointment with your employees 3-6 months out to see how they are doing with the new material or changes,” recommends Friedman.

4. Ask for feedback. The only way to know that your returning employee is taking well to the training is to ask about it. Accept feedback readily and do your best to curb the training program so that the information is being properly absorbed. “This is one of the most effective ways to re-train your employees,” Friedman insists, “Unless management is open to feedback, trainings will come and go without information being retained.”

5. Adjust for learning styles. Everyone learns differently. You may assume that your training program is ideal for employees to learn the various ins and outs of the job. But it’s important to remember that there are different types of learners. “By recognizing and understanding their employee styles, you will be able to use better techniques suited for their needs,” Friedman tells us, “The most common learning styles are visual, verbal, physical, logical, social, solitary, and aural.”

6. Be a good communicator. “This seems like a no-brainer,” admits Friedman, “but clear communication is the biggest item on this list. Without being able to communicate the purpose, relevance, and value the training has to your employee, there won’t be a connection.” It’s especially important to listen. Listening, some people forget, is the most important element of good communication. Be sure to know that your employee understands what is being taught while also having his or her concerns respected.

Assessing Our Home Assessments Through Q&A

Posted by

Disabled rehabilitationA significant injury or illness is never a welcome circumstance. However, for thousands of Canadians, such an occurrence is an inevitability that requires significant rehabilitation. Naturally, time must be taken from work to battle such hardships, as a person’s health always comes first. This is why before a person returns to work, he or she must take the very important steps to ensure that the return to work is done at the appropriate time.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Home Assessments as one of our many services. It’s important that individuals are able to perform all of the necessary functions that are required for living in their homes before they are able to get back on the job. As part of our assessments, we address issues such as accessibility and stressors – both actual and perceived. We also look to determine the number of responsibilities that may affect a person’s ability to handle everyday tasks.

Once an appropriate home assessment has been completed, we are better able to gauge whether or not a person who has sustained an injury or illness that has kept him or her from work is able to return to the job. As you can imagine, there are a number of questions that need to be both asked and answered in order to make the right decision. At Independence Incorporated, we seek to complete thorough examinations by performing a Q&A session.

Has there been a significant change in the working conditions? Depending on the amount of time that a person has taken off of work, there may have been some changes to the job itself. It’s important for us to determine if those changes are ones that can be handled by the returning employee. We seek to discover if there are any limitations that the employee may have before green-lighting the way back to the workplace.

Can the job at work be modified? In some cases – even when the working conditions may have remained the same – the returning worker may have some of those limitations we mentioned. If so, we seek to discover if any modifications can be made at the workplace to make the transition back to work more comfortable for the employee. It’s also important to know if further physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation are necessary.

Has there has been a change in the employee’s health? There are times when an injury can significantly change a person’s health. After all, rehabilitation can certainly take a toll on a person. So while an injury may be healed, the employee may still require other methods of recovery in order to achieve greater strength, energy and endurance levels. Before one can return to work, he or she clearly needs to be healthy enough to do so.

Is there a new medical condition that may limit a returning worker’s effectiveness? If an employee’s health has changed, the job description for that employee may need to change as well. In some cases, a person can return to work, but not necessarily to do the same tasks that were asked of him or her before the injury or illness took place. If a limitation reduces or prevents a person from performing a job effectively, a new position may be a better fit.

Can the employee safely return to work? There are, of course, those situations when an employee is simply not healthy enough to return to a job in any capacity. Further rehabilitation is necessary in order to get a person to a state of readiness. And this is very important. Returning an employee to the workplace before he or she is capable of doing the work is bad for both the business and the employee. A home assessment helps greatly to make the right decision.

Of course, there are a variety of other questions that we answer to make sure an employee is ready to return to the job. For more information about our Home Assessments, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

6 Ways To Assist With An Employee’s Return To Work

Posted by

Mentor Series - Good WorkAs you can imagine, it’s incredibly difficult to return to work after a long layoff. This is especially true if the absence came as a result of a significant injury or illness. Firstly, it should go without saying that a person’s priority becomes his or her health when such an unfortunate circumstance occurs. So, quite often, one’s daily tasks at work become so far from the mind, they are often forgotten by the time rehabilitation is complete.

But once a person’s physical health has returned to some semblance of normalcy, his or her emotional well-being also needs to be considered. Even if an employee is physically ready to take on the tasks of his or her position at work, he or she is still likely to encounter some trepidation about working again. As a result, there are many things that employers and co-workers should consider in order to help a returning worker with the transition back to the job.

1. Keep in touch. As long as you have the person’s permission, it’s a great idea to keep in contact during the absence from work. According to Mark Swartz of Monster.ca, it’s important to “stay in touch with the affected employee in order to monitor their progress. Reassure them that their job is waiting for them when they’re released to return to work.” Often, people who are unable to perform their regular duties worry about ever being able to do so again.

2. Have a chat. The first couple of days back on the job are bound to be tough for the employee. It’s important to make him or her feel as welcomed back as possible. Shepellfgi.com advises that you “welcome the worker back, discuss how responsibilities were handled during their absence and if there have been any changes to the role…This is also an opportunity for your employee to open up about any concerns or issues, while giving you a chance to offer your support and empathy.”

3. Prepare for the return. Welcoming an employee back to work after a long period of time isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It needs to be planned for. The job the person is coming back to may even have changed. Swartz writes that “it could take you weeks or even months to plan for the return of an employee. Roles may have to be assessed. Workloads need to be reviewed. And job descriptions, possibly schedules too, might have to be modified.”

4. Get your team ready. Reintegrating an employee back into the flow of things at work is a team effort. It will require the cooperation of an entire staff to make its returning team member feel comfortable with reassuming his or her role. “Try to keep your staff updated,” says Swartz, “Then, at least a few weeks ahead of the affected worker’s return, inform your employees. Let them know what to expect and announce changes (if any).”

5. Be accommodating. There may have to be a number of changes made to a returning worker’s schedule. His or her workstation may need to be modified. As well, the duties outlined in the employee’s job description may have to be reassessed. Shepellfgi.com notes that you may need to consult the employee’s physician or other health professionals to fully understand what the employee can and can’t manage.

6. Break them in slowly. Naturally, rushing a person to his or her old self isn’t advisable. As Swartz reminds us, “the longer someone has been away on disability leave, the less you should demand of them right away. Give them time to regain their footing. After all, they may have a new schedule, role, equipment and assignments to deal with. Set reasonable deadlines and provide a supportive environment.”