Program Showcase: Absence Dashboards

DMEC Staff@Work

Technology-Enabled Dashboards Power Communications, Promote Productivity

By Jennifer Beckermann

Senior VP, Client Services

By Scott Daniels, JD

Senior Director of Disability
Comcast, NBCUniversal, Comcast Spectacor

Return-to-work (RTW) programs are widely used by many of today’s leading employers. They have been shown to increase productivity, produce cost savings, and increase employee satisfaction. But having an RTW program that is effective, efficient, and compliant can challenge even the most experienced risk, human resources (HR), and absence management professionals. In this article, we look at some of the common RTW challenges; an innovative, technology-driven tool that can be used to enhance such initiatives; and the results being achieved by developing and deploying this type of solution.

Common RTW Challenges

The challenges around return to work are multi-faceted.

Untrained Managers

First, many supervisors and line managers don’t understand RTW issues or how to accommodate injured or disabled employees. Their world in operations revolves around production demands and time schedules. When a disabled employee returns from a doctor’s office with limitations and work restrictions, supervisors are quick to conclude that there is no work available for that individual. Instead, they offer the employee leave until the individual is fully recovered and able to step back into the original role. Whether or not this violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), when leave is used as an accommodation approach, days can become weeks and weeks become months. Costs can escalate, productivity plummets, and employee engagement becomes non-existent.

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