Years ago, many workers held jobs in the manufacturing field that required them to stand for their entire workday. Now, workers find themselves sitting behind desks for seven or more hours each day, which has led to an unhealthy side effect — a more obese workforce. Fortunately, employers are starting to embrace the benefits of keeping employees active at work.
Presenteeism — the practice of coming to work despite having a medical condition — is a relatively new area of study. However, with the current economy pushing employers to do more with less, it’s an important challenge that needs to be addressed, as less productive workforces are also less profitable.
Imagine for a moment that you’re in pain — a lot of pain. No matter how you sit or position yourself, you seem to still be hurting. You spent months on bed rest and now use a wheelchair to get around, but even though it’s progress, the progress is slow. It’s not just the physical pain that’s an issue — your disability has caused you to be emotionally drained, as well.
Being able to determine whether a disability management program is truly successful often lies with the employees. It is our job as consultants and your job as HR professionals to prove that our efforts in getting people back to work sooner after a disability leave or keeping people on the job really work, and I believe one of the best ways to showcase success is by sharing someone’s personal experience with it. People typically connect best with stories that offer that human element — and that’s why I like to call them the “proof in the pudding.”
Identifying the right solution to accommodate a work restriction is not always obvious. Following a consistent analytical process can ensure key details are not missed, helping to avoid potential issues such as employee and employer frustration or a potential impact on employee safety. Putting the right process in place can be crucial to a successful, organized return to work plan and can help to address costs, time and confusion.
When I was introduced to an employee who had been suffering at work from the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease, I knew I could help.