Zenployee Building 101:
- Empathize - For business owners, it's not all about just the injured employee at the time of loss, but nobody told them that. You better realize that how they feel after they become injured matters, and I mean mentally. Attorneys realize this. Google "work comp injury" and watch how fast over 1 million hits pop-up from attorneys to the injured person if you have any doubts. To be successful over the long run, your injured employee MUST feel like you care about them and their well being.
- Communicate - Once you realize the importance of their feelings, it is imperative to create communication channels between you and your team and your injured employee. The only thing worse than being injured is the feeling one gets when they're all alone and injured at the same time. Communication is critical to set proper expectations right out of the gate and to maintain them throughout the healing time period. Due to the busyness of today's world, communicating on an ongoing basis won't be easy. It will definitely take effort and commitment. To be successful over the long run, your injured employee MUST experience communication with you and your team throughout the healing process.
- Rehabilitate - Here it comes, get ready for it: Return Them To Work ASAP! If I received a dollar every time an employer said that they didn't have any light duty jobs available, then I'd have bunches of dollars. Study after study after study shows that employees who return to work in a light duty capacity recover faster than employees who try and recover at home. It's worth every minute of time and every dollar invested to create a transitional light duty position for your injured employees. It will pay you back in so many ways. You're welcome.
- Celebrate - That's right, we have forgotten the emotional impact that encouragement and celebration has on the human spirit. There is a time for all things, including celebrating. This isn't a celebration only for the return of the injured employee, but also for the team effort that brought the injury to a conclusion. Celebrate the TEAM effort with the TEAM itself. Remind them of the value that they brought to this situation by communicating and rehabilitating with their brother/sister at arms. Remind them of how valuable they are to you and your business. Businesses celebrate going injury free for "x" number of days with giant pizza parties all across this great country. The problem with that is that it accidentally causes injuries to be discredited and discouraged in an effort to keep the "injury free record" in tact. After all, you don't want to be known as the employee that cost your coworkers free pizza. Why not instead celebrate the successful handling of all injuries, big and small! Celebrate team play and transparency between teammates. Celebrate the atmosphere that you'll create when all of your employees feel like they matter to you.
Zenployees don't just occur naturally in the wild, you have to build them. Follow these four simple steps and you too can build an army of Zenployees!