Returning to work after a serious illness or injury or the onset of a long-term condition can be an experience full of ambiguity for the employee and the organisation. There are often many questions which have no clear cut and quick answers. The employee may be wondering: How do I speak to people about what has happened? Do I even want to tell them? Will my health issues prevent me from getting good projects and promoted? Can I even do what I used to do?
HR and the line manager may be asking themselves: How can I support this employee? What is good and appropriate for this person and how do I determine that? How should I talk about all this with them?
Whilst recognising there is no one definitive answer to these questions as every person and organisation is different, there are guidelines and training available on what is required by law and is considered best practice. These are useful in helping to ensure appropriate reasonable adjustments are made. However, sometimes everything can be done and done by the book, yet there may still be issues and concerns regarding the employee’s return to work. Or sometimes the issues and concerns remain unseen and unspoken until it is too late. Yet we know a successful return to work is important given how much time we spend at and on work, the financial security it gives us, and the positive impact it can have on wellbeing.
Based on research conducted for a MA in coaching psychology, I’ll be delivering a free webinar on 26 November, 6-7pm UK time, which will address those issues that can remain unspoken and unseen:
The psychological issues that are often at play for the returning employee
Unconscious biases and societal stigmas around health, illness, disability and recovery and how they can manifest themselves in relationships and organisational ways of working
Using real-life anonymised case studies, the webinar will also demonstrate how coaching has helped this population address those issues and the skills returning employees may need to develop. Given the support and training available regarding HR procedures and employment law, these will not be covered.
If you are an HR professional or line manager, this increased understanding of the returning employee’s experience and awareness of personal and societal stigmas will enable you to relate with a deeper level of empathy, a key cornerstone for trust and relationships. You will also come away with ideas on approaching such situations going forward, areas where returning employees may need support, the slides and links to further information.
Register for the webinar via this link – http://www.irwcconference.com/supporting-employees-returning-to-work-after-a-long-term-illnessserious-injury/
Barbara Babcock worked in Learning & Development in professional services both in the UK and abroad. She is an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation and helps individuals who have experienced a medical crisis and their families live well with the impact. She also leads the Transverse Myelitis Society, a UK charity which supports people with rare neurological auto-immune conditions and has implemented a coaching scheme for members.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.returntowellness.co.uk