When an employee’s productivity (and, often his/her personality) deteriorates over a relatively short period of time, something is seriously wrong. It could be an addiction, an aggressive brain tumor, early dementia or another dire condition. Whatever the underlying cause, the employee may not be able to perform essential job duties or might pose a threat to workplace safety.
When faced with this scenario it is prudent for employers to arrange for an evaluation, both for humane reasons and from a risk management perspective.
When WorkWise conducts a fitness for duty evaluation the employer is our client. Our primary responsibility is to determine whether the person is impaired or poses a risk to the organization. At the same time we carefully assess the employee’s needs and make recommendations regarding further screening or treatment. The individual must sign a release to allow us to communicate with health care providers, family members, the employer and others as necessary.
While the evaluation is ongoing the employee should be placed on paid administrative leave. The evaluation is thorough and is concluded with a clear report detailing our assessment, conclusions and recommendations.
Fitness for duty evaluations must be done in compliance with the organization’s policy and procedures, federal statutes and Colorado regulations. They must be able to withstand the scrutiny from insurance companies, attorneys and the courts.
We have the knowledge and in-house resources to do the job right.
Most employees’ use of FMLA for emotional reasons is appropriate, or in any case does not cross a threshold where the employer wants a second opinion. However, when malingering or outright fraud is suspected it’s worth considering. This especially is true if the employee is antagonistic (e.g. has filed a bogus EEOC lawsuit).
FMLA certifications are often superficial. 2nd opinions must be thorough, well documented, with clear conclusions and recommendations. Obviously, the issue doesn’t come up very often. But if it does, contact us.
This is another “value added” capability that WorkWise has developed to serve the needs of Longmont area employers.
Psychological tests should only be used as part of a multifaceted plan to meet well-defined objectives. They can be extremely helpful when targeted for a specific purpose. Examples include pre-employment screening tests, personality inventories (including those that assess interactive styles) and assessments of risk, disabilities and psychopathology.
It is tragic, expensive and often unnecessary for an organization to lose a key leader because of an addiction or untreated mental illness.
In 1985 Dr. Krupnick co-authored the groundbreaking guide to family and workplace interventions, From Despair to Decision (CompCare Publications). He has confidentially facilitated numerous interventions and trained a generation of professionals throughout the United States and in Brazil.
Helping a valued but troubled employee is an ongoing process. We maximize the chance for successful outcomes through case management, back to work support and monitoring when appropriate.
What do your employees think about their lives at work or about ways to improve productivity? What do customers think about your services and products?
Focus groups provide a goldmine of information if they are appropriate to the circumstance, carefully planned and skillfully facilitated. They are underused as a valuable resource to understand what motivates large populations of employees to succeed in reaching objectives established by the organization’s leaders. For example, if absenteeism is a concern, and efforts to reduce it have been largely unsuccessful, focus groups can generate important information to drive decisions.
“Secret shoppers” projects add value to training, supervision and quality improvement efforts. We have a dozen masters and doctoral level staff who can implement agreed upon protocols. Our cohesion as a group assures excellent inter-rater reliability.