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Part three - Workplace adjustments… how do I find the right approach for my organisation?

30 Apr 2018

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By Mandy McBurney, Head of workplace disability services, Remploy

Finding the right approach comes down to knowing your business, your people and what you want to achieve. You can then shape your policies, processes and support appropriately. 

In my experience, organisations invest in many provisions to support health and wellbeing at work such as employee assistance programmes, occupational health, resources and advice lines. How such services link together and where to go for what can be confusing for employees and their line managers alike.

Occupational health plays an integral role in providing medical opinion, health and wellness support within organisations. We find challenges often arise for businesses in taking the information and implementing practical workplace solutions and adjustments, advice and guidance. Many businesses are left with trying to bridge the gap between an employee’s medical report and supporting that individual with the necessary workplace adjustments.

Case Study

Challenge: A manager referred one of his best performing employees for an assessment, due to a job role change. An occupational health report identified that this individual would not be suited to working in highly unpredictable situations due to a mental health condition.

Instead of redeploying and losing a valuable employee, we worked closely with all parties including the manager, occupational health and union to review the case. Some workplace adjustments were identified, approved and implemented on a trial basis, to help retain the employee. Subsequent further medical opinion agreed that the adjustments in place were effective in supporting the management of the individual’s condition.

Impact: The trial proved a success, with the individual thriving in their role, leading to a job promotion. 

So what makes a good solution?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your business actively promote and link together all of your supporting provisions?
  • How easy is it for your employees to access and benefit from this support? 
  • Do you collate and analyse your service user feedback and what is it telling you? 

Some organisations deliver workplace adjustments internally, whilst others outsource to specialist providers. Whichever approach you take, there are some key considerations to help retain and maximise the potential of your people:

1. Creating the right environment
Proactive communications, success stories and manager briefings raise awareness and usage of support services like this. How do you promote your services to staff?

2. Make it easy to access support 
This needs to be as easy as possible for all employees and is a simple but crucial component. 

3. Providing specialist expertise 
Any workplace adjustments advice and guidance needs to be timely and appropriate. Even the best recommendations are useless if they’re not correctly implemented.

4. Remove any blockers 
Removing any policy and process barriers is key to providing an effective provision. This includes things like central budgets, asset registries and funding adjustments. Self-referrals can expedite support and assist in creating a supportive working environment.  

5. The voice of your employees
Talking to your staff about what is or isn’t working can highlight areas for improvement.

6. Measure, analyse and review 
Service performance data is key alongside a wider metrics dashboard. All of this supports continuous improvements, resulting in improved retention, attraction and productivity rates.

Remember, if just don’t know where to start, or want to know more, we’d love to help you. 
You can contact us directly, or visit our website.

About Mandy McBurney
When work and health collide, individuals, their managers and businesses can struggle. My passion is to provide workplaces with the knowledge and services to help raise awareness, prevent and support workplace disability and health issues, helping individuals and business be their best.

As Head of workplace disability services at Remploy, our team works with businesses like yours to provide cost-effective and high quality solutions. This includes training, education, workplace adjustments and specialist mental health/neurodiversity support. 

With my occupational psychology background, I’m a certified disability management practitioner with extensive experience in training and the development of disability management programmes.

About Remploy
Remploy deliver a workplace adjustments service across both the public and private sector. We help employers such as BT, BBC and GCHQ to protect and develop their greatest assets, whilst enabling thousands of talented individuals to reach their true potential.

Read more

Part one - Why are workplace adjustments important and why should I care?
Part two - Workplace adjustments... where do I start… and what have I got to gain?

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