Do you have a member of staff coming back after a period of sickness? Have you thought about return to work interviews? It can be nerve wracking for them to return to work; All kinds of concerns might be bubbling below the surface.Will they be able to catch up? Will things have changed? Will their health hold up? will their colleagues be supportive if their productivity is slow at first?
Always remember that productivity is linked to the quality of the relationship with the line manager – so use the opportunity to show concern for someone’s welfare is always the best approach – even if you suspect they’re pulling a fast one.
Prepare for Return to Work interviews
- Gather all the facts – length of absence, content of medical notes etc.
- Arrange a quiet venue.
- Plan some questions, making sure they are not leading, to help you discover how they really are.
- Is it possible that Topi* may have an ongoing health issue? If so, the law says you may need to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that Topi can keep his job. Check out what is required if you are not sure.
- Make sure you have a method for recording notes from the interview. If you do not have a system in place, search online for ‘example Return to Work forms’ to see what is typically included.
You have a duty of care, so make sure you explore any underlying issues or concerns and listen carefully to his responses. If Topi can see that you are concerned for his welfare, you are likely to get a positive result.
You can find out more in Face to Face in the Workplace
*Topi is The Other Person Involved in the conversation
By Julie Cooper
Author of Face to Face in the Workplace
“If you deal with people you need this book” Buy your copy here