It’s a reality of life that we get sick from time to time. Sometimes it can be a common cold or flu, other times it may be something more serious. As an employee, this can become a real cause of stress – either as the individual suffering from the medical condition or as a work colleague left frustrated at another’s absence.
If you have employees who are suffering from medical conditions or illness, here are three tips to helping employees back into work following a significant period of leave:
Considering 1 in 5 New Zealanders1 of working age have some sort of disability, it makes sense that business leaders consider how to connect to this potential customer base. Welcoming and even encouraging those with disabilities into the work place provides the business with market knowledge, understanding and insight that competitors might not have.
The “war for talent” is an ongoing challenge. While a potential or current employee may have a medical condition, this does not necessarily mean it will impact their ability to do a great job. On the contrary, businesses that embrace the opportunity can benefit from accessing a wider motivated talent pool.
With an ever-increasing focus on equality of work, embracing employees with disabilities or medical conditions just makes sense. The signal this sends to other employees about what the business believes in will be powerful, let alone the message the business sends to the marketplace in general. As the coffee chain Starbucks found, the reputation of the business can be significantly enhanced. In 2015, they were one of only a handful of businesses to receive a perfect score in the Disability Equality Index for their disability inclusion policy and practices. The coffee chain made a deliberate decision to hire more employees with disabilities, opening stores that are staffed with disabled employees.
Disability can directly affect colleagues at work and in their personal lives. Taking a leadership position on disability helps managers to develop technical skills in change management, people management, job design, accessibility and usability.2
The case for hiring and retaining disabled staff and those with serious medical conditions is powerful. And of course, employees with medical conditions are better placed to understand the needs of others in similar situations.
Matt Johns, Deliberat
Matt uses his diverse experience as a trained undercover police officer and as the former Chief Strategy Officer at Deloitte to help businesses design better employee experiences to drive business growth. Having worked in experience design and strategy for over a decade, Matt has worked with organisations across the world connecting business strategy with deliberately designed customer and employee experience strategy.