As an employer, part of your duties involves taking steps to ensure the safety of your workers. However, on-the-job accidents can and do happen. While they are sometimes the result of negligence on the part of an employer, often, they are simply random occurrences for which no one is to blame.
Regardless, if one of your employees is injured at work, they may file a workers’ compensation claim. Although workers’ compensation laws can vary somewhat from one state to another, in general, they provide employees with the grounds to recover compensation for their medical bills and related losses when they are injured in accidents at work.
Some employers react poorly when employees file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. While an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is technically responsible for paying an injured employee what they may be owed, some employers nevertheless become frustrated or antagonistic when employees file claims because the process of handling an employee’s claim can be time-consuming and stressful.
Don’t make the mistake of mistreating employees who file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. A true leader will make it clear to their workers that they can feel comfortable seeking compensation for their losses when they’re injured. To demonstrate proper leadership when employees file workers’ compensation claims, you should:
Take the Claim Seriously
Don’t be dismissive when an employee files a claim. Sometimes, employers assume injured workers are exaggerating the severity of their injuries in order to maximise their settlement. Or, they jump to the conclusion that an employee was injured because they were careless.
A real leader will give an employee the benefit of the doubt. Consider that their injuries may be genuinely serious, and investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine whether it occurred because of unsafe work conditions.
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You’ll benefit from taking this step. If the accident was the result of an unsafe condition, you can then address the cause, minimising the chances of similar accidents occurring in the future. Additionally, you’ll be demonstrating to employees that you care enough about their safety to look into these issues. This can boost engagement.
There may be times when you have genuine reason to dispute a claim. You can contact your state’s workers’ compensation board to learn more about this option if you truly believe a claim may be fraudulent, or that it may involve an incident that wasn’t work-related.
Take this step covertly if you choose to investigate the option. In the meantime, your forward-facing response should be one of concern for your employee. Don’t behave in any manner that can be interpreted as hostile. If your investigation does eventually indicate that you have grounds to dispute a claim, then you may proceed with doing so.
Reassure Your Worker
An injured worker may not be able to return to work right away. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they might need to stay home until they have fully recovered.
This can cause a worker to fear they will lose their job. Stay in contact with your employee as they recover to remind them that their job is secure.
Read more: Emotional Intelligence During Crisis
While you’ll hopefully never receive a workers’ compensation claim because none of your employees will ever be involved in on-the-job accidents, this is a possibility you need to consider. The way in which you respond when a worker files a claim will tell your other employees quite a bit about your leadership style.
Supplementary reading: Responsible Leadership in Times of Crisis
Being a true leader comes in different shapes and sizes, and not they are not "one size fits all"! A true leader knows not only to spearhead their team but also takes care of their employees especially when they are working in such a hazardous milieu. Providing a safe space for your employees to vocalise their concerns will polish the gleam of your leadership skills. Well, wanting to be more engaging and attentive towards your workers are some of the pinnacle moments as a leader! Let us now segue to our product that promotes such an event! Let me introduce you to → Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia) is an amazing engagement app built for organisations to drive engagement amongst employees. It has amazing analytics and also provides activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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