When an employee is out of work due to injury or illness, the road back to employment can feel intimidating and overwhelming for both the employee and the employer, which is why it is crucial to have the right resources in place to facilitate the return to work process. A return to work case manager is an advocate for getting the employee back on their feet, and into the workplace. Effective and consistent communication between the work case manager, the place of employment, and the employee throughout the process is key to a successful return to work program.
Who are Return to Work Case Managers?
Here at CatalystRTW, our return to work case managers are highly trained professionals who have a passion for working with injured and disabled individuals who are seeking long-term employment. Returning to work case managers should be dedicated to maintaining integrity, while successfully breaking down the barriers that all too often keep disabled employees from returning to work. Compassion, determination, consistency, and communication are all key attributes of a dedicated return to work case manager.
Employers and employees alike should expect for a return to work case manager to hold degrees and/or certifications in one or more of the following areas: Business, Education, Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Social Work. Professional certifications like Commission for Case Managers (CCMs), Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor (CRCs), and Certification of Disability Management Specialists (CDMS’) are also preferred. Furthermore, at Catalyst RTW, many of our case managers have personal experience in overcoming a disabling illness and participation in return to work programs themselves.
What do Case Managers Do?
Return to work case managers work with employers to aid disabled employees in not only finding work, but to also ensure that the working conditions meet their individual needs and coordinate reasonable accommodations, provide resources and support for reintegration into the workplace, and offer follow-up support once the employee has been successfully placed.
These case managers facilitate the process of finding genuine work solutions that provide the disabled employee with options for long term professional growth. The return to work case manager is the linchpin to the return to work program, maintaining open and transparent communication between the employee and the employer throughout the process. Case managers must be exceptional at maintaining diplomacy and building relationships in an effort to create a successful and productive transition for all involved parties.
If you have questions regarding the role of return to work case managers or would like to know more about how Catalyst RTW can help your business navigate the return to work process, contact us today.