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November 30, 2018

There is no doubt that disengaged and disgruntled employees drive a very real bottom line cost for employers. If this is true under normal workplace situations, then it's even more likely to occur when an injury happens at work. The good news is that as an employer, you have the power to positively impact the situation and keep employees involved, engaged, and when they return to work, productive.

Current research shows that the employers who include empathy in their workers' compensation practices can experience better outcomes. An employee-first approach fosters trust and confidence, which results in greater employee engagement and motivation, as well as a decrease in costs.

Studies have found that employers who consistently utilized an empathetic approach have experienced the following:

  1. 26% less employee turnover
  2. 15% greater employee productivity
  3. 20% less absenteeism
  4. 30% greater customer satisfaction levels
  5. 40% decrease in average claim costs
  6. 58% decrease in average duration days
  7. 31% decrease in medical claim costs

What does safety in your workplace look like today?

Most often, employers focus on safe working procedures to avoid incidents, as well as the follow-up steps, such as reporting to a supervisor or filing documentation. While this is important, there are also other key steps that enhance overall workplace outcomes and employee engagement.

Embracing a comprehensive safety culture that utilizes an empathetic and compassionate approach will enhance the employee experience and, ultimately, lead to a significant difference in how workplace injuries impact your company.

Our values poster

The following five values that you can adopt in your business help create an optimal safety culture that embraces an employee-first approach:

  1. Ensuring the health and safety of our employees is our top priority.
  2. A safe work environment is a team effort and everyone's responsibility.
  3. We address workplace injuries with an employee focus that fosters compassion and empathy.
  4. Workplace injuries are reported immediately, care is swift, and we evaluate each incident to improve upon our safety.
  5. Return to work is essential to employee recovery, health and wellness.

Download our free poster of these five values, share them with your company leadership, post them internally and begin the conversation with all employees as to how the company will respond to workplace injuries with compassion.

Compassion is key

Employers can enhance an employee's recovery by utilizing an overall empathetic approach in ongoing communications and in the development of an immediate return-to-work plan. When an employee is injured on the job, poor immediate reactions and responses can negatively impact an employee's recovery, overall company morale and the safety culture. Typically, following an incident, emotions run high among all parties.

Many of our policyholders go years without experiencing a workplace injury. Consequently, when an incident does occur, it is a disruption for both the employee and the company. Oftentimes, it may be confusing to know where and how to begin. Taking the time to think through and train your company leaders on how to react to an employee's workplace injury can make it easier to manage emotions during a difficult time.

The five values described above can help shape a workplace culture with a focus on compassion. You can implement these values in your workplace which will, ultimately, help maintain production levels through early return to work, minimize injury severity via immediate quality care and decrease future incidents. Throughout an employee's injury and recovery, demonstrating empathy develops trust and confidence which leads to employee engagement and directly impacts cost.

Your workplace safety partner

As a workers' compensation provider, Texas Mutual strives to assist policyholders in preventing workplace incidents. Yet, even the most safety-conscious employers can experience accidents.

We're committed to providing compassionate care to our policyholders and their employees. We work closely with our customers to learn how we can provide better service and make the claims process easier. An important part of the process is the relationship an employee has with their employer.

We provide workers' compensation expertise, combined with new behavioral approaches, to managing workers' compensation injuries. Our resources can help support a comprehensive safety culture and proactive return-to-work plan in your workplace.

Visit the Texas Mutual safety resource center in your account for more safety resources, or talk to your agent about workers' comp with Texas Mutual.

More resources to help shape your company culture

This is the first of three articles in our compassion series that will assist employers in embracing a new behavioral approach to safety and injury management. Read part two for insight into an injured worker's perspective and part three to learn how to incorporate compassion into return to work. These articles cover how empathy can lead to optimal workers' compensation results and strategies for employee engagement and injury recovery.

We find that compassion and empathy make a difference in how we do business, and we're happy to share our insight to help other Texas employers make their businesses stronger.

Statistics referenced are from the Workers' Compensation Research Institute, LM Research Institute and AON Hewitt studies.