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Employees who are present, healthy, and doing a good job make an enormous difference to the success, morale, and most importantly the bottom line of an organization.

Research by the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) shows the longer an employee is away from work, the lower their chance is of returning.

These top five strategies will help a worker achieve a successful stay at work / return to work or resolve workplace challenges related to illness, injury, or accommodation needs.

Strategy #1: Functional Assessments

If an employee is ready to return to work but you and the employee are not sure if they can return to their job, or how to help them return successfully, there are assessments that can help. A Functional Capacity Evaluation assesses the employee’s physical, cognitive, and psychological abilities and compares them to the demands of the required job. The process will help you identify whether the employee can return to their job, the modifications or accommodations required to be successful, as well as other jobs that may be a fit. 

Strategy #2: Ergonomic Assessments

Are ergonomic changes worth the cost? Yes, absolutely! Not only are ergonomics good for your business, they are great for your people. Studies have revealed that ergonomics have positively impacted business goals by producing cost savings, increasing productivity, and improving product quality, leading companies to integrate ergonomics into all of their operations.

An Ergonomic Assessment identifies ergonomic barriers in the work environment and makes recommendations on how to overcome the barriers using education, new methods for conducting the work, and assistive devices. Some benefits of proper ergonomics are reduced absenteeism, injury prevention, faster return to work following symptoms, and increased comfort and therefore higher productivity.

Strategy #3: Workplace Modifications

Did you know that more than half of all workplace accommodations cost less than $500.00, and many are little or no cost or there may be funding available to help? In some situations specialized technology, equipment, or workstations are required. Understanding legislation that relates to an employers duty to accommodate is also important. Workplace accommodations go a long way to stop small issues from becoming large and keep employees healthy and productive at work. Specialists in this area are available to assist employers to understand obligations and best practices for accommodating employees in need. 

Strategy #4: Job Coaching

Job coaching is another option to help to reduce the duration of time lost from work or productivity on the job by developing a detailed, personalized strategy that benefits both the employee and employer. A qualified return-to-work Coach works closely with the employer and employee to assess the employees’ abilities and limitations in order to provide the most appropriate plan and recommendations. The Coach will leave the employee and employer with improved strategies for on-the-job problem solving, leading to improved job retention and attendance.

Strategy #5: Vocational Assessments

Do you ever question whether an employee is in the right job? Do they have the skills to be successful in that job? What else are they capable of? A Vocational Assessment will provide you with the answers to these questions and more. It will identify what strengths, transferable skills, and aptitudes the employee has, and determine suitable job options. It will help you and the employee determine the best fit, training needs, and next steps.


Agilec has 21 offices across Ontario and over 30 years’ experience providing Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Programs, Vocational Assessment, and Disability Management services. Agilec has numerous accredited Disability Management and Return-to-Work Coordinators. Our best practice results come from the vast expertise of each team member assigned to the uniqueness of each client. We work closely with employers, insurance companies, government agencies, and legal firms.

To obtain more information on transitioning an employee back to work or receive a quote, please visit www.agilec.ca/vr or contact us at:

PHONE: 1-800-361-4642
EMAIL: vrffs@agilec.ca

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