Humanising Workers Compensation

A Humanising Approach

James Ellis from Framework Group and I recently had the privilege of meeting a new group of people and sharing in a learning experience where our focus was on a more humanising approach to workers compensation and injury management.

The Workshop was held at Sydney’s iconic The Wayside Chapel, a place where ‘humanising‘ is lived and experienced, not just spoken about. It is an ideal venue to see first hand how treating people with dignity, and encouraging autonomy in decisions can make a significant impact on people’s lives; this is what we aim to provoke in these workshops. So how did it play out?

Day one started with introductions, to both each other and to The Wayside. We then quickly moved into our first experiential learning activity, a Wayside Walk, lead by the infamous Rob Holt who showed us through ‘The Cross’, sharing some of ‘his story’ of living on the streets in and around The Cross for around three years. Rob was formerly a senior corporate manager with one of Australia’s most well know organisations, and his story from the heights of the corporate world to living rough on the streets is one that is likely impact on most of us.

Rob got into some pretty bad ways, mixing with drug dealers, Bikies and violent people. He decided he wanted a change though, and it was The Wayside’s mission of ‘creating community with no us and them‘ that provided the space and the opportunity for Rob to do this. As Rob says:

“When I came to Wayside, Graham and I sat down in the old Chapel and it was here I poured my heart out to him. I wanted to end it all; end the drinking and pot smoking; end the rut I had been living for the last couple of months. I was living a life I could no longer accept. I had hit rock bottom. I’m not sure what I was expecting from Graham or how he and Wayside could help me. I remember clearly Graham assuring me that I had made the first and most difficult move by admitting where I was at and that I needed to make a change”. (https://www.thewaysidechapel.com/robs-story.php)

Rob’s is a story of acceptance and of change. He no longer wanted to live a life that was heading in only one direction, and it wasn’t upwards. It wasn’t The Wayside who changed Rob though, he had to do that hard work himself. However it was the environment created and the community spirit that is lived by those who visit and work there that provided Rob with the perfect setting to create a new life for himself. And what a life that is; one that is now focused on supporting others who may want to do the same thing. Rob’s a special bloke.

After the tour, we had lunch in The Wayside Cafe sitting with the many other people who visit each day. Someone asked us; “can you tell the difference between people who are paid to be here, those who volunteer their time and those who are visitors?”. It was hard to distinguish between the different people.

The next day and a half were spent sharing our experiences, our learning and some different methods for how we can take the ‘humanising’ approach adopted by The Wayside and put these into practice in the areas of workers compensation and injury management. Further details of our approach and the workshop are outlined below.

So what is our program about?

Our Approach

We have a a unique model of injury management that allows our employer clients to maintain and enhance their relationships with their workers which, in turn, has positive organisational implications. We believe that injury management provides employers with a portal through which they can demonstrate how much they care about their team. We understand that mistakes and injuries are inevitable, because people are fallible, but this same fallibility provides opportunities for learning and enrichment of relationships.

What is Covered in the Workshop

During this Workshop, we share our ideas and experiences including:

  • An understanding of human motivation
  • The impact that our social environment (including culture) can have on Return to Work
  • A better understanding of decision making including from the perspective of people who are injured, doctors and other people involved in the process

Our approach is to value people and relationships more than (simply) process. Our goal is to facilitate recovery and prevention, in the context of learning. In fact, we have learnt that by humanising injury management, we can impact an organisation in a powerful way that can permeate and enhance the culture. We share Case Studies of how we have gone about it.

We know that workers compensation presents many challenges, some predictable however many that are not. We don’t promise predictability but we can help you to enhance your organisation’s resilience with respect to injuries. We believe it is possible to look after your staff before and after an injury in a way that improves morale, gives you back time in your day and also saves you money.

If you’d like to learn more about our approach or the Workshop, you can contact James on [email protected] or me at [email protected]

Finally, if this story has sparked some interest for in The Wayside and you would like to support the work done by the great group of people there, you can learn more about this HERE.

Robert Sams
www.dolphyn.com.au

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