Accommodation requests don’t need to be daunting. One thing you always want to do is engage in the Interactive Process with your employee, but here are some more tips that might help both you as an employer and your employee while navigating the accommodation process.
- Start by exploring your options.
- Brainstorm with your employee.
- Write down all suggestions and ideas.
- Don’t exclude any ideas even if they are “outside the box”.
- Look at available resources and know what equipment is already available to you.
- Could you use a modified or flexible schedule?
Finally, when considering an accommodation request, make sure it works for both your business needs and the employee. Once the accommodation has been chosen make sure you continue to follow up with the employee. The Interactive Process is just that: it’s a process which needs to be continually monitored. Shortly after implementing the accommodation, check back with the employee to ensure the chosen accommodation is effective and working for both the business needs of the employer and the employee needs. You should also provide the employee with a contact person to report problems should there be an issue with the implemented accommodation. Lastly, be sure to document what you have done throughout the accommodation process. Accommodation requests can be a win-win for everyone involved.
If you have questions about the Interactive Process or accommodation requests, please contact:
Kelly Cook, RESIG’s Sr. Return to Work/Ergonomic Advisor
(707) 836-0779 x 108.