Does your Small Business need help cutting costs?

by Rich DeMatteo on October 23, 2016 · 0 comments

How an effective return-to-work program can impact employee morale and cut workers’ compensation costs?

Small business owners today are taking on many new costs from many different areas that have not been required of them in the past. Whether these costs are due to the because of the employee health insurance costs due to the affordable care act or the rising cost of commercial insurance, business owner are now forced to be wiser than ever about cutting costs. One giant aspect costing many small businesses is employee productivity. The main aspect many business owners fail to realize about productivity is that employee morale is directly related to it. One way to help employee morale; that many business owners do not anticipate, is a successful return-to-work program for injured workers. When your business has an incident that causes a worker to be injured, it is a valuable time for management to show how much they truly care about their employees. You can be certain; the other employees are paying attention to how you treat this injured worker because deep down they know they could be the next injured worker. Aside from employee morale here are five ways a successful return-to-work program can benefit your business.

It is the right thing to do.

Plain and simple, concentrating on taking care of your employees and getting them back to work is the right thing to do. It is the right thing for the injured worker, it is the right thing for your business and it is the right thing for the workers’ compensation system. A successful business will go out of its way to do what’s right. If that is the type of business you want to be than a successful return-to-work program is something you should strive for. This can help your employees by making them feel like a valued member of your business family. Also, this can help your business by limiting the total cost of the claim with your workers’ compensation provider. This will ultimately make it less likely that your premium will increase in the future.

An effective return-to-work program helps your employees recover from injury quicker.

Healthy employees are happy employees. The more prepared you are when an employee is injured on the job, the easier it will be for you to get your employee the medical care they need and get them back to work in some capacity. The quicker your employee gets back to work the more likely they are to return to work permanently. This is the main way a business can prevent an increase in premium when they go to look for new business insurance. To deal with this problem, many business owners have a specific person who is their expert on the workers’ compensation system. This is a good idea, but it is also important to train all of your managers on this process in some capacity. This will prevent your business from suffering if an incident occurs while this employee is on vacation or if the employee leaves the organization.

Putting energy in to a return-to-work program shows your other employees that you truly do care about their well-being.

Not only is an effective return-to-work program good for your injured worker, but it sends the right message to your other employees when they see how you are taking care of their coworker. It reinforces the fact that you care about your employees and their well-being. Everyone has heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Well in the business world actions speak louder than words. How you treat an injured worker speaks volumes about you as a business owner and your employees are always watching.

The quicker the inured employee returns to work, the more likely they are to return to full time work.  

If you have ever spent a day home from work sick and watched the TV, you see that there are many commercials asking have you been hurt at work and cannot work? If so, call the offices of XYZ Law Firm for a free consultation. The more frequently a person sees these advertisements, the more likely they are to pick up the phone and call them. If you have an effective return-to-work program that has limited duties, provide duties the injured worker can do to get them back involved with work and their routines surrounding your business. The more quickly you can get them back in to their work routine the better.

This is because humans are creatures of habit. Studies have shown that habits can form in as little as three weeks. If a person is in the habit of coming to work at a certain time, eating lunch at a certain time with a particular group of people and then going home at a certain time they are going to be out of their routine when they are hurt and unable to work. The quicker you can get them back to work in some form or fashion, the more likely they are to return to full time work and not have a workers’ compensation claim get out of hand. When inured employees do go on long term workers’ compensation it can have very damaging effects to your experience modification rating. This rating is one of the main determinants of what you pay in premium for commercial insurance.

A good Return-to-Work Program prevents your Experience Modification Rating from rising.

The main thing that impacts what a business pays for workers’ compensation insurance is their experience modification rating. This rating is determined by your claims history over a three-year period, not including the most recent year. For example, right now in 2016 the experience modification rating for a business would include the claims history from 2012-2014. The insurance industry does it this way, because many times a claim is left open after an employee has returned to work. Carriers do it this way to prevent closing a claim and then having to reopen the same claim or open a second claim because an employee reinjures themselves on the job. Take for instance if an employee hurts themselves over Thanksgiving weekend and has to be completely out of work for 3 weeks. They then come back to work in a limited capacity for an additional month. This puts them in 2016 before the injured employee is back to work full time. At this time, if the employee has to have further medical coverage for that injury it can cause quite a problem for the experience modification rating. Because of this the year 2015 is not a determining factor in this rating it does not become a factor. For this reason, it is important to have a successful return-to-work program. Having a successful return-to-work program can help your injured worker get back on the job, in whatever capacity, and once back on the job they are more likely to return to work permanently. This is crucially important when you go to renew not only your workers’ compensation, but all of your business insurance policies. The less injuries you have and if those injuries are less severe, the more likely you are to have a competitive rate on premium.

Author Bio: Mitchell Sharp is a Marketing Associate for The Insurance Shop LLC.  Mitchell has extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation and cyber liability. His passion is in using his knowledge of commercial insurance, social media and content marketing to benefit the small business community.




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