Business leaders everywhere spend time and other valuable resources trying to create the most efficient, productive and prosperous company possible. However, these goals can be crippled with one serious injury, and that accident could lead to higher workers compensation insurance costs and other expenses.
So, it is only natural that all administrators and owners want to find a way to limit the financial impact of a key workplace injury or illness while simultaneously helping the employee get back to work as quickly as possible. And, in many cases, the best way to do that is with a quality risk management plan and a return-to-work program. An RTW program is one of the best ways to reduce workers compensation insurance costs, but there are also other positive managerial steps that can come about from this important strategy.
In order to understand an RTW program better and use this tactic to improve the workforce, here are few things that are worth knowing:
RTW programs lead to better management
Business leaders have plenty on their minds each day, from the supply chain to benefits plans and lower worker productivity. One of those concerns shouldn't have to be workers compensation insurance and the overall safety of their workforce, however.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an RTW program has long been used as a resource to alleviate this key concern. Many experts agree that such a program has been proven to get employees healthier faster, and can make sure they are back at work as soon as it is possible. Less time away will directly equal lower workers compensation insurance costs. Even so, there are other benefits to this strategy that can result in a more efficient business model.
For example, an RTW program could help with workforce management, SHRM noted. How is this the case? Well, for one, using this tactic requires improved data monitoring, so there is an additional wealth of information available if an RTW program is in place. This knowledge can shed light on unscheduled employee absences and injury outcomes, among others. Understanding these elements will allow leaders to make more informed decisions about their companies.
Can an RTW program save money?
Above all else, employers are concerned about saving money and creating a sustainable business model. This is where an RTW program comes into play, because important employees who have to miss time due to injury will lead to higher expenses for the firm.
So, can an RTW program save money? The answer is yes, according to a study performed by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice's Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace. This question isn't so cut and dry, however, because implementing an effective RTW program can cost money itself. But, research performed by RAND has shown that these strategies can be extremely useful for firms that have costly injuries. For example, smaller firms may have difficulties finding alternative work options for injured employees, one of the key steps of an RTW program. On the other hand, larger companies can typically afford to place a worker in a modified role for an extended period of time, in order to alleviate the costs of workers compensation.
In addition, RAND also noted that these programs have illustrated the ability to reduce the length of injury-related absences. While this fact doesn't always mean a cost-effective option for employers, it is a good sign that an RTW program is one step on the right path toward cost savings and a healthy, productive workforce.