Return to Work Coaching is a flexible and practical service used to address return to work and return to health barriers in order to assist an employee to achieve their return to work goals. This service allows an employee to workshop their concerns and develop clear, realistic goals with practical steps to support the workplace rehabilitation goals already in place. It is undertaken by someone separate to the managing Rehabilitation Consultant and is focused on current presenting barriers rather than a recap of the injury history.
This service is specifically tailored to the employee’s needs and some examples of the purpose of coaching have included: executive coaching, plans for transitioning to new roles, graded exposure to assist with returning to work or to an area of the workplace, managing director education to think differently regarding ways they can work on their business, activity planning, conflict resolution, resilience building, behaviour modification through gaining of insight, and dealing with absenteeism.
The overall focus of return to work coaching is to achieve the return to work goal; it is not a substitute for psychotherapy or psychological counselling. An agreement is signed at the initial coaching session to signify the employee’s engagement in the process. The return to work Coach will meet with the employee at regular intervals and the number of sessions required vary dependent on the individual situation. On average between one and four sessions would be sufficient, and sessions can occur at our offices, at the workplace or at an alternative location dependent on the individual requirements.
Abilita: This is a unique biopsychosocial rehabilitation tool that involves comprehensive online assessment to identify and measure biopsychosocial issues that delay recovery from injury/illness. Further information on this tool can be provided on request.
Mediation and conflict resolution: This is provided by senior rehabilitation consultants who have been specifically trained in mediation and conflict resolution. Accreditation is obtained through www.mediationpathways.com.au.
Non-standardised Functional Assessments: These are informal assessments which are task specific and completed at the workplace to observe an injured workers performance of specific tasks relevant to their job role. The assessments are useful as they assess only relevant and specific job tasks. The outcomes can be used to provide feedback to the Treating Doctor, develop suitable duties programs, and facilitate upgrades in work capacity.
Functional Education and Manual Handling Training: Functional education can be provided at the workplace to ensure correct manual handling techniques are being applied to ensure durability of return to work. This can also involve making recommendations for task modification strategies which may be useful for all employees not only the injured worker.
Job Dictionaries: These can be developed to document the physical and psychological demands of all jobs within an organisation to help both the employer and the treating professionals involved. A job dictionary:
- Details maximum physical job demands, which can be used to guide treatment goals and the return to work process.
- Details the routine physical and psychological demands of all jobs, and provides suggestions regarding potential modifications that may be implemented as part of a suitable duties program.
- Can reduce the need for individual Workplace Assessments decreasing individual claim costs and time delays.