Implement a Disability Management Program
Well-managed companies have planned and implemented Disability Management programs. The advantages of having a Disability Management program in the workplace are that they demonstrate that the employer values individual workers and that they are extremely cost effective.
- Obtain a management commitment to do Disability Management (DM). To succeed, the DM program must have top management's support. The commitment should be documented.
- Decide on the level of the commitment. The number of employees will dictate how the program develops. Companies with a large number of employees will be able to support the process with full-time employees and in-house resources. Small companies can achieve the same outcomes by contracting for community-based expertise and resources on an as-needed basis. In either case, the services to employees are the same.
- Setup a Wellness program. The first service that should be implemented is a Wellness program. Illness and accident prevention are the single most important factor in the DM process. One important aspect of wellness in the workplace is "Presenteeism." Presenteeism is the name used to describe an employee who comes to work with contagious issues like flu, thereby infecting other employees, thereby affecting production.
- Setup a Safety program. Like Wellness, Safety programs are also essential. The employer should do an analysis of the potential for accidents in the specific workplace and do safety training around these potentials. Some states mandate discounts on Workers' Compensation premiums for employers who sponsor Safety programs.
- Determine the specific parts of your DM program. The components of a DM program have evolved in Merge Sales and Operations when Two Companies Join Together As One that have innovated and tested new methods and materials. These programs are known as "exemplary programs." Employers starting new DM programs, or those wanting to evaluate existing programs for currency, might examine the components of an exemplary programs. One source of of the DM program components can be found at [http:// cecassoc.com/components CEC on DM components].
- Organize an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Companies with a significant number of employees frequently setup and operate EAPs. All of the services of an EAP are also available in the community, and companies too small to support an in-house EAP can find the resources needed in community-based services; e.g., addiction counseling, psychological counseling, job accommodation devices, etc.
- Survey and identify medical assistance resources in the Help Your Community Be a Safer One. In addition to primary services (Become an EMT Explorer, etc.), periphery services such as case management, physical therapy (work hardening), etc. should also be identified.
- Plan and schedule regular training for staff on DM methods and materials. Supervisors should receive specific training on what to do immediately when an employee becomes ill or is injured. In smaller companies, an employee should be designated to assume this oversight responsibility.
- The DM development process must be a team effort involving representative employees.
- Maintain records on absences. The accumulated records become an essential planning and maintenance tool.
- State-of-the-art programs are currently restructuring under a Positive Psychology approach. Companies planning start-up DM programs, or companies who already have DM programs, may want to research Positive Psychology on the web.
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