Preventing and reducing lost productivity

When employees are away from work for medical reasons, you know it costs your company in terms of lost productivity. At the recent Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) Annual International Conference, I co-presented with an employer that uses an innovative absence and disability management model to address the productivity loss caused by employee absences — and the results are very positive.

Addressing lost productivity
An HR leader from Jefferson County Public Schools, an employer with 13,000 employees in Denver, recognized the impact of lost productivity on the organization. At DMEC, this employer shared how the company works with The Standard’s Workplace PossibilitiesSM program to address productivity issues. As I discuss in two of my white papers on the future of absence and disability management, by taking advantage of best practices like early intervention, transitional work, nurse case management and an on-site consultant, this company was able to mitigate the effects of lost productivity.

Jefferson County shared two stay-at-work success stories at the show. A teacher had a painful skin condition that was exacerbated by exposure to chemicals at the teacher’s work location. The work location was changed, enabling the teacher to stay at work and stay productive. Another Jefferson County employee had difficulty sitting due to a back condition. A Workplace Possibilities on-site consultant conducted an ergonomic assessment and recommended an ergonomic chair. With the new chair, the employee was more comfortable and did not have to stop working.

The organization recognized that employee absence was causing them to lose productivity, so they proactively implemented a solution to mitigate those losses and associated costs. To further explore how productivity gets lost through employee absences, check out my latest Productivity Insight: Health-related Lost Productivity: The Full Cost of Absence. This is the second white paper on health-related lost productivity.

If you want to learn more, check out the first paper on Causes and Solutions.

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