When you have a workplace injury, you probably come across either of these situations. First, you will use the savings and the return to work program to get employed again. Second, you will give up hope and never get the job you want or deserve.
The latter is not recommended unless you have a serious injury that prevents you from doing a job ever again. The former is recommended for all people who have lost their jobs due to a workplace injury or accident. But, to be employed again, you have to travel across a path filled with roadblocks.
First, you have to prove to your employer that you want to work and seek the help of the employer to regain the same or a similar role. It is mostly only possible if your employer has a return to work program in place and is willing to help you get employed again. If that’s not an option, you might have to seek the help of a vocational rehabilitation counselor to help you enhance your skills and get a new job elsewhere.
If you are wondering why you should seek the help of a return to work program, you are on the right webpage. Here we’ll explain the answer to do you know how a return to work program benefits everyone- individuals, employers, society and the economy. Just read on for more.
What is a Return to Work Program?
The name should give you some idea about what it is – It is a program created by an employer to help injured workers return to work after a while. The employee must have more power than the employer when it comes to this program, and the employer should be willing to adjust to ensure that the employee who has not been at work can adjust easily. Some examples of the adjustments could be the addition of special chairs at the workplace for people who have back problems or reduced hours for employees who can’t manage 8-hour shifts due to physical or psychological limitations.
How a Return to Work Program Benefits the Employer?
There are several interesting ways in which such a program benefits the employer. Some of them are listed right here.
Better Employee Engagement
One of the biggest benefits of a return to work program is better employee engagement. When an employee knows that he or she will get help in returning to work thanks to the plan, he or she will prepare themselves in a better manner to return to the same organization and would rarely look for other options. The employee will also be more engaged with the employer’s organization and would feel more empowered regarding his or her fate.
Believe it or not, many employers fear paying the costs associated with a workplace injury, even the workers’ compensation claim. When a return to work program is in place, the worker would most likely return to work with the same organization and might not seek workers’ compensation. Also, the costs associated with hiring new workers is reduced.
Low Employee Turnover
When an employer has a return to work program in place, it will help reduce employee turnover. Low employee turnover is essential for employer branding as it helps other potential candidates decide whether they want to join the organization or not. Also, low employee turnover helps maintain continuity of tasks/projects and even helps in saving recruitment costs.
Time Saving Benefits
In cases where a skilled employee who is handling a lot of work and is in a senior position gets injured, finding a replacement could be a big problem. It takes time to groom people to take on the senior person’s role and sometimes, finding the right fit can take years. When there is a return to work program in place, the senior employee might want to return and save the organization the trouble of spending time in finding the right replacement. Remember, in the corporate world, time is money!
Most employees who understand or are worried about workplace injuries find comfort in the fact that an organization offers a return to work program. It has been seen that the organizations that have such a program in place have a better image. If a person has the option of joining a company with this program and the one without it, he or she will likely choose an organization that will choose the organization with an RTW program. The more the number of people willing to join and stick to an organization, the better would be the overall image of the brand.
How a Return to Work Program Benefits the Employee?
There are many ways a return to work program benefits the employee. Some of the crucial ones are mentioned here.
Assured Job Despite an Injury
The biggest benefit of a return to work program is that an employee doesn’t have to worry about job loss due to absence or injury. If the injury is not life-altering, the probability is high that the program would help the person to get the position he or she earlier had even if he or she returns to work after a couple of months.
The process of re-employment with the same employer is faster when an RTW program is there. An employee who has been injured can resume the job even a few days after getting the doctor’s approval. If the employee has some doubts, he or she can share them with the vocational rehabilitation counselor and clear everything so that he or she can be re-employed with a high confidence level.
Most people spend 8-10 hours a day at work, so their social connections are mainly colleagues. An RTW program ensures that an injured employee doesn’t lose those social connections and gets back to work with the same people after he or she is healed. Even the person who is filling in for the injured employee knows that the employee will return to work soon, so there are rarely any feelings of jealousy.
Easy to Ease Back
If an injured worker knows that an RTW program is there to help him or her return to work and everything is laid out properly like how many hours should an employee put in after rejoining, what salary he or she will be paid in the initial weeks, etc., it will make the process less stressful. The help of a vocational rehabilitation counselor can be sought if an employee wants to understand the process from a third party and wants to be assured of his or her capabilities (which an injured person often doubts!)
In today’s time, money plays a key role in everything and financial independence is everyone’s priority. So, when a return to work program is in place, it will help remove the money related worries from the injured employee’s mind as the probability of him or her being financially independent after the injury recovery will be very high.
How a Return to Work Program Benefits the Society/Economy?
A return to work program helps people to get employed again or stay employed despite an injury, which means that they are not unemployed. It indirectly benefits society and the economy. If more and more people are employed, it will help in the society/economy in the following ways.
Better Consumer Buying Power
When an RTW program and seeking the help of vocational rehabilitation services providers help a person to stay employed, his or her buying power increases. The more the person spends, the more the businesses benefit from it and the same and the higher would be the growth of major sectors of the economy like retail, housing, banking, etc.
Low Govt. Borrowing
If most people, including people who were injured on the job, are employed after they are healed, they will pay the taxes on time and won’t depend on the government to take care of their financial needs. It will reduce the burden on the government and would lead to lower government borrowing.
Low Crime Rate
When most people who have suffered a workplace injury are employed and satisfied with their jobs thanks to returning to work programs, it will keep them happy, and they would stay away from quick ways of earning money which often leads to crimes. So, society will benefit as a whole if employers design useful to return to work programs.
In essence, it can be said that return to work programs are more essential today than they were ever before. They benefit the employee, the employer, directly and indirectly, benefit the society and economy as a whole. Employers must remember that creating such a program is not enough; they need to measure its effectiveness and upgrade it with time if they wish to ensure it helps everyone.
If you are an injured employee who wants to understand how to make the most of a return to work program or even how to get employed again when there is no such plan, then we can help you. The team of Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc. offers quality and useful vocational rehabilitation services to help people return to work and get their life on track after a workplace accident or injury. Call Toll Free on (800) 531-5608 to book an appointment. We’ll be eager to help you!