A worker is injured every seven seconds on the job in the United States. Don’t think it’s just construction workers and line workers at manufacturing plants that get injured either. Slips, falls, overexertion, and cuts can happen to anyone in any setting, even in a seemingly safe office.
No matter what the injury or its severity, there are things you have to do to protect your business, but it should never be done at the expense of your worker. It’s important to show them that you care as they heal and prepare to return to work.
Help Them Find an Attorney
If your employee’s injury was directly or indirectly your fault, suggesting that they hire an attorney probably isn’t the way to go. However, if your employee was injured due to someone else’s negligence while traveling for work, or even if they were injured outside of work, you may want to consider helping them find a good attorney.
Your help can be invaluable because finding a good attorney isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just because one attorney will not take their case doesn’t mean another won’t. Finding one with the time and experience to help your employee is essential.
Helping them pay for attorney fees can be helpful too, even if it means offering them a little extra overtime, as it can encourage them to hire one in the first place.
Take Control of the Paperwork
When there’s an accident at work, there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out. You will likely have to sign off on some things, HR will have a ton of paperwork to fill out, and your employee will have things to fill out too. You can help them stress less if you take control of the paperwork.
Instead of throwing paperwork their way whenever you get it, collect it, and schedule a meeting where you can go over and sign the paperwork together. They’ll appreciate having someone in their corner walk them through it, and they’ll appreciate the fact that you can answer their questions as soon as they come up.
Provide Them With Resources
Facing the potential for long-term or short-term disability can be scary. Especially if your employee is worried about how they’re going to pay the bills.
Providing them with the right resources can ease their worry. That might include helping them find federal and state programs to help them with:
- Rental assistance
- Job training
- Health insurance programs
You may also be able to help your employee more directly. Is there another employee who dealt with short-term disability due to an injury? See if you can arrange a meeting so your employee has support from someone else who has been there.
Offer Opportunities to Work From Home
Just because your employee is injured doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t work! Many jobs can be modified or done completely from home, as long as your employee has the right support.
For example, you may want to provide them with a laptop that has all the right programs installed on it already. Help them create lists of tasks that they can complete without aggravating their injury, and be flexible about how and when they complete those tasks.
Even physical jobs have an aspect that may be able to be completed at home. For example, a maintenance worker can help fill out, organize, and file work orders online from a home computer, while a community service member, like a police officer, can catch up on training and certifications while they recuperate at home.
Help Them Transition Back to Work
Hopefully, your employee will be able to transition back to work eventually. The transition can be scary. After weeks or months off the job, it can be difficult to go back to the way things were before the accident.
Don’t assume your employee remembers exactly what they are supposed to do. Be there to help them transition back to work. Re-establish expectations and talk openly and honestly about workloads. You may discover that they need a smaller workload, at least right at first, as they are still attending appointments that will pull them away from work regularly.
Take Steps to Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again
It is important to make sure the accident that occurred, if it occurred on business property, doesn’t happen again. Preventing it from happening again will protect your company and your other employees, but it will also show your injured employee that you care about what happened.
Take whatever steps are necessary to make your workplace safer. That might mean additional training for employees who are using dangerous equipment, allowing them to take more breaks, or offering them more time off so they can return to work refreshed and focused. Even adjusting the janitor’s schedule so he isn’t mopping in the middle of the day can prevent slip and fall accidents!
Ask How They’re Doing
There are a lot of complicated, complex, and time-consuming ways to show your injured employee that you care. They are all important, but at the end of the day, none of them matter as much as simply being there for your employee and asking how they’re doing.
Caring about your employees creates a more comfortable workplace, it can increase engagement, and it can even boost productivity. Your employee is more likely to work harder when they do return to work, they may be motivated to return more quickly, and you show the other employees at your company just what kind of boss you are by caring about someone who was injured.
It’s not hard to do either! Give them a call, shoot them a quick text, or send them a get well card. Ask them how their appointment went, send them a pizza for dinner, and let them know your workplace misses them!
Don’t just leave your injured employee to their own devices if they get injured. Help them recover and show them you care with the tips on this list.