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To cut costs, shed myths about staff returning from injury

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in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Issue: Common misconceptions exist about how to handle employees returning from injury leave.

Benefit: By looking deeper into these return-to-work myths, you can improve employee performance and save money.

Action: Review the five biggest return-to-work myths, then work with top brass to implement the "truths."

Misconceptions about how to handle employees who return to work from injuries can hurt your productivity and actually add to workers' comp costs. Here are five common myths:

Myth 1: Employees must be 100 percent recovered before returning to work. Truth: Employees can return before they're up to full speed. Their performance will improve incrementally.

Myth 2: Returning employees are likely to re-injure themselves and then apply for workers' comp. Truth: No research supports this belief.

Myth 3: Light duty works best for returning employees. Truth: Significantly reduced workloads can actually encourage low productivity. If the employee can perform the full job, let him or her jump right in.

Myth 4: Most injured employees want to remain off the job as long as possible. Truth: Only a small percentage of injured employees avoid returning. If they are, it may be out of fear of how they'll perform.

Myth 5: Doctors decide when injured employees return to work based on their knowledge of job duties. Truth: Physicians typically don't have the information they need. You should communicate with doctors about the job's physical requirements.

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