Canadian HR Reporter

February 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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Management and Research in Port Alberni, B.C. "The vast majority of case managers don't have any professional skills, so they don't have communication skills." And you can't expect the frontline supervisor to take the lead because that's really not their job, he says. They should have some basic knowledge… but this is really not their job; their job is first and foremost to achieve results. It's really [about] the skill and competence of the case manager." Possible solutions When it comes to possible solutions, it's about promoting goodwill and trust between workers and supervisors, espe- cially pre-injury, says Jetha. "With really strong relationships at the outset, those individuals would be more successful in communicating their details with regards to return to work and may be less suspicious of the organization, and the disability manager less suspicious of their supervisor." says Amell. "Some supervisors would be very adept and understand who the stakeholders are, how to communicate, how the policies must be supportive of that return-to-work process. Whereas if it's not something they encounter very often, they're going to need to rely much more readily on disability management case experts." And some supervisors don't want a person back in the workplace unless they're 100 per cent, he says. "They look at it purely from a productivity perspective, rather than through the lens of the injured worker or through the organizational lens as a whole, who may be looking at an increase in insurance premiums as a result of these sort of activities." A large part of the problem is the professionalization and level of qualification of staff, says Wolfgang Zimmerman, president of the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences and executive director of the National Institute of Disability "With really strong relationships at the outset, those individuals would be more successful in communicating their details with regards to return to work." Arif Jetha, IWH scientist It's about fostering a positive culture in the workplace with strong levels of employee engagement, according to Amell. "Increasing that level of stickiness, if you will, with the employer invariably helps with decreasing the overall number of injuries and illnesses and facilitates that return-to-work process for people who are excited about getting back into that positive culture." The IWH researchers also recommend uniform training to supervisors to increase awareness about their roles and responsibilities in the whole process, along with relevant communication strategies. "This training… doesn't have to be overly complex. Obviously, there's a need to know the details and the requirements of a supervisor and their expectations in this process, but it's also [about] small reminders, and 'Try to check your feelings toward the worker in advance when they come to you with an injury,'" says Jetha. "[It's about providing] more positive types of messaging rather than skepticism and blame. Those kinds of little switches could actually have significant impacts across the entire organization." CHRR HR News at Your Fingertips Sign up for the Canadian HR Newswire today for free and enjoy great content from the publishers of Canadian HR Reporter. www.hrreporter.com/subscribe/newsletter THE LATEST NEWS Stay on top of essential late-breaking HR news and developments. THE BEST COMMENTARY Access trusted analysis and opinion on the cases and changes that are shaping the HR landscape. REGULAR E-NEWSLETTER Your profession can change quickly, which is why you need the freshest, most recent information. FOR READING ON ANY DEVICE Get the news and opinions you need on any device. Whether you read at work, or on the go, the newsletter adapts to your screen.

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