When an employee suffers a personal injury, they might find it difficult to be productive – and in many cases, they may struggle even showing up for work.
Car accidents, falls in public places and even defective products can cause injuries during your team member’s own time. And when this happens, there’s not much you can do – apart from helping them get back on their feet.
If your company wants to offer its employees assistance in recovering from an injury or illness, there are a number of things you can do.
Give them the time they need
If an employee has been injured – or taken seriously ill – they will need to take time off from work. They may end up in the hospital, which means there is no way they can be present in the workplace.
They may also require time to rest and recover at home. It’s important not to pressure your colleague to come back sooner than they’re ready. This can run the risk of further injury or illness, and will likely mean your team member is less productive than they would be if they’d been allowed the time to recover fully.
If they don’t need to take any significant time off work, you shouldn’t expect them to be as productive as they’d ordinarily be. They’ll need time to get back to where they were before the accident happened.
Keep them up to date
When they’re off work for more than a couple of weeks, they may be left feeling out of the loop. That’s why it’s important to keep in contact with your injured colleague. Regular phone calls, emails and even visits will be hugely appreciated and won’t take a huge amount of time or effort on your part.
Keeping them up to date with what’s going on in the workplace will help them feel like they’re still a part of the business. And that’s important for keeping them motivated, which will help them return in a positive frame of mind. You also want to avoid them coming back to major changes within the organisation that they weren’t informed of.
Encouraging the injured person’s colleagues to keep in contact will help ensure they’re kept up to date with the interpersonal relationships within the workplace. It can help them feel like they’re still part of the team and can even offer a distraction during what is likely a stressful time for them.
Ease them back in
You might find that your injured worker isn’t able to return to their normal duties right away. This will be particularly relevant if the team member in question has a physical role in your organisation. While they get back to full strength, they may need to carry out different duties.
Assigning them different duties, whether that’s desk-bound or other activities requiring less physical effort, can help them get back into the swing of work while keeping them safe from over-exertion and re-injury.
Reduced hours are another way of helping your colleague get back into work. If they’re able, they may be able to get back to their usual role – at shorter working hours. You should consider flexible working for the injured worker, if it’s something they’re interested in. Encouraging the rest of your team to pitch in and help with some of that work can make it easier for that person when they come back.
Make the effort
There are a number of ways you can make life easier for an employee who has recently been injured or taken ill. Making this kind of effort will no doubt be appreciated by that worker, who may be worried about how the injury is going to affect their working life.
Keeping your employees happy is a huge factor in motivating them to do their best work. It is therefore important to make the transition back into work after time off as simple as possible. It will provide the most favourable outcome for both your company and the injured individual.