In Part 4 of this series, I will explore the importance of keeping in touch, and following up, with employees once a work injury occurs.
The restaurant business, perhaps more than any other, prides itself in high quality customer service. For this reason, employers in the industry look to hire personable, friendly, and outgoing employees who can provide a pleasant experience for patrons. These qualities also increase productivity and teamwork, two essentials for running a successful restaurant. As hostesses, servers, cooks and management all need to work as team to ensure quality and efficient service, building relationships with co-workers remains a must.
However, once a worker sustains an injury it can become easy for that worker to feel out of the loop, especially if she or he becomes disabled. Often, an employee goes out of work and employers feel that person is now a workers’ compensation claim which the insurance company or TPA will handle. In turn, the injured worker now feels they are a problem rather than part of the solution. Therefore, it remains crucial that management stay in touch with injured workers to remind them they are still part of the team and their presence at work is crucial for the company’s success.
This serves two purposes. One, it gives the worker a sense that the company has her back and genuinely cares about her well-being. This tends to limit any animosity the worker has toward the company and stifles the potential spread of that animosity throughout the workforce. A simple follow up and words of encouragement from management can go a long way in returning an injured employee to his or her full duty capacity.
Second, checking in on injured workers allows employers to obtain updated status reports on the worker’s condition. This provides management an opportunity to relay their expectation that the worker will return to his job once medically released or work in a light duty capacity if restrictions are provided. It also allows supervisors, particularly schedulers, to understand when the worker may be returning and plan the restaurant’s rotations accordingly. Finally, it can provide insight into whether the injured employee truly intends to return to work and, if not, whether it may be time to take a more aggressive approach (more on this soon!).
If you need any additional insight, or would simply like to discuss this topic, please feel free to contact me at 484-468-1231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.