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Topic: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities

Messages (47) Visitors (26226)


melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/10/2012 / 11:26 am    #1

What impacts have episodic disabilities had on your workplace?



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sherri.clifford
Member since 04/13/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/16/2012 / 1:27 pm    #2

Honestly I would have to say that our organization has just accepted the fact the staff my have eposidic disabilities. But we have never really considered the impact it has on us or future impacts.

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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/18/2012 / 12:43 am    #3

I recently started at my current workplace, so I have not observed what the impact of episodic disabilities would be. However, in guessing what the impact might be given the work environment, it might be having to modify work schedules to accommodate the employee so that he/she is working a schedule comfortable for him/her in managing his/her episodic disability. In times of absence, it would be good to have someone on staff, or someone on a casual or temporary basis, who understands the employee's position well and can take over so that there is a smoothe transition while the employee is off and also when the employee returns.

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rbendix
Member since 07/21/2011
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/20/2012 / 9:01 am    #4

Hello all,
I am looking forward to meeting you here online and our next few weeks together.
To answer the question, I am drawing on my experiences from several places I have worked. At one, small, start-up organization, episodic disabilities have not really been discussed. At another one, I have seen episodic disabilities being accommodated, with leaves and other arrangements being put in place.
I anticipate this course will provide me with more knowledge and, of course, best practices around accommodating episodic disabilities.
RB



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melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/23/2012 / 9:10 pm    #5

What are some of the indicators that you’ve seen that an employee is living with an episodic disability?

Quels sont certains des indicateurs que vous avez vus qui indiquent qu'un employé vit avec une invalidité épisodique?





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suzanne.dawson
Member since 04/18/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 8:32 am    #6

I think some instances would be a person with diabetes or form of mental illness - an episodic disability is unpredictable & you can't really "plan" when the next one will be and what sorts of accomodations have to be in place. A co-worker recently went into diabetic shock after skipping a couple of meals.

We were about to call 911 but a quick thinker on the team brought soda and candy bars to her to raise her blood sugar. I think it's imperative that employers be educated/prepared to deal with episodic disabilities in the workplace to take necessary steps in the case of an episode.




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bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 8:43 am    #7

I've seen many impacts, including affect on morale of staff who don't understand the nature of the episodic disability and are often left stepping in or completing the work of the person off on leave. Have also seen the effect on premiums for group benefits increasing from more people off on STD/LTD with episodic disabilities.

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bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 8:46 am    #8

Most employees are being very open about their disability. Have worked with staff with fibromyalgia, diabetes, migraines, epilepsy, cancer, mental health disability. With others, have noticed increase in absences from work.

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sherri.clifford
Member since 04/13/2012
Re: Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 9:42 am    #9

I agree that many employees are open about episodic disabilities. HR tries to deal with the shortfall in scheduling. However, their isn't enought knowledge about it to all. I find that the people needing to take time off are sometimes looked down upon or spoken about behind their backs. Tolerance is low by those affected by the extra work put on them by the one off.

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kellie.kirkwood
Member since 04/19/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 1:16 pm    #10

It has caused some animosity among staff(because it wasn't known to staff) as to why does one staff member get all this time off and nothing is said to her but other staff members have to provide drs notes. We had to have a staff meeting to clear the air and still there is some tension.

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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/24/2012 / 7:30 pm    #11

Absences are indicators of someone living with an episodic disability. I've also observed work performance suffer creating issues between expectations of the supervisor, clients and co-workers versus what the employee could achieve. In this case, the employee finally disclosed their health issue which was affecting this person's work performance. I've also noticed "personality" changes, where people isolate themselves so they don't worry others, or they become more worried or depressed as they haven't yet talked about or disclosed their disability and build up fear about how their employer will react.


Modification count : 1
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rbendix
Member since 07/21/2011
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/25/2012 / 8:21 am    #12

Hello all,
I think it is important to remember that episodic disabilities will likely not be visibile. In other words, other indicators (as already mentioned) may play a part in helping to indentify. Additionally, ensuring the HR team is open and supportive will help create the conditions for an employee to approach the team for assistance, and for developing and for planning any accomodations with them.
RB




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joan.barbeau
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/26/2012 / 12:38 pm    #13

There has been some impact with some of our staff with episodic disabilities, in particular for those staff returning from disability leave - staff have expected that they would return to their positions and be ready to take on tasks at the level they were when they left. In some cases, it is clear they are having difficulty focusing, etc. (depending on the episodic disability) and it has taken some intervention on the part of Human Resources to ensure that we accommodate the disability. It really is a learning experience for all involved.

Some episodic disabilities are visible to other staff members while some remain an unknown disability to most staff. We are by nature a nurturing environment and I think we go out of our way to accommodate and make employees feel comfortable and ensure that they have a meaningful work environment.

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melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
04/30/2012 / 9:09 pm    #14

What forms of accommodation have been most successful for you in working with employees living with episodic disabilities?

Quelles formes d'accommodation en milieu de travail ont réussi le mieux pour vous lorsque vous travaillez avec des employés vivant avec des invalidités épisodiques?


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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/01/2012 / 1:11 pm    #15

right now we have no employees identified with living with episodic disabilties but as our workforce ages I expect to be dealing with it more often

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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/01/2012 / 1:13 pm    #16

I suspect 1 employee of having some issues, as they have been absent from work on a regular basis but they are taking it as sick time-floater days, and I have asked if they need any assistance and they said no

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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/01/2012 / 11:30 pm    #17

I want to thank everyone for their posts. It has really made me think about the challenges in dealing with episodic disabilities. I have been at my new job for a few weeks, and because they are a community health environment, employees are much freer about discussing their issues, and trusting that their supervisors/employer will do their best to make the accommodations required. In previous work environments, it was much more difficult, because of attitudes towards those who required accommodations. In the end, it does put stresses on scheduling, and the fact that you can't predict when something may trigger an episode. However, the end result, I believe does make the team stronger, and feel more valued. Even if a team member does not have an episodic disability, no one knows what the future can hold, so I think even for those employees, it provides assurance that they will also be taken care of if issues occur.

In terms of what accommodations have worked, we currently provide modified schedules so that employees can manage a schedule / workload they can succeed at. Depending on the nature of work, flexible scheduling is also an option, but can be difficult to provide if the work requires specific hours and responsibilities; however, it has worked in some cases for us.


Modification count : 2
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joan.barbeau
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/03/2012 / 2:26 pm    #18

We have managed employees with episodic disabilities with ensuring that we follow our Alternative Work Arrangement policy to assist them if they are unable to work a regular work week. We ensure that employees are able to discuss any issues they may be having and we also offer individual coaching by a third party (in particular those returning from disability leave), in addition to encouraging our employees to utilize our employee assistance program. We also try to assist in reviewing their tasks and workload.

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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/05/2012 / 11:21 am    #19

In my organization we are very accomodating and supportive of episodic disabilities, as we are an employment services organization that specializes in finding and maintaining employment for individuals with disabilities. We have often employed our own clients, as well as provided the opportunity for numerous clients to volunteer within our organization so we can assess their abilities as well as provide them the opportunity to integrate back into the workforce at their own pace and to learn new skills. We have been supportive in accomodating their schedules to be flexible, and work environment to be suitable, in that it accomodates their disability, medication, and limitations of the worker.

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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/05/2012 / 11:26 am    #20

Some indicators of episodic disabilities that I have seen are fluctuations in mood, physical ability, and attendance.

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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/05/2012 / 11:32 am    #21

A form of accomodation that I have seen to be effective is that of a flexible schedule. As long as the employee works a certain amount of hours per week, but if it does not necessarily matter when the hours are worked, it allows for the employee to work when they are feeling at their prime, and to take the time they need when they are experiencing an episode. Unfortunately this is not always possibly in work environments. It is important to remember that the accomodations must work for the both the employer, the business, and the employee. So sometimes it requires more brainstorming and finding a middle ground that works for everyone involved.

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rbendix
Member since 07/21/2011
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/05/2012 / 1:52 pm    #22

Hello all,
In my current workplace, in which I have an HR role, we have a small team.
At the moment, no one has identified with episodic disabilities. This could easily change, especially as our organization grows.
RB


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sherri.clifford
Member since 04/13/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/07/2012 / 11:35 am    #23

In my organization I would we have found the use af adaptive equipment helpful for our staff. This can include new work stations that require finetuning for ergonomic reasons. Other adaptive equipment such as Dragon speak or large font on computers. We have used flexible time for our staff and allowed working from home. All these have been from varying times and lengths of time. Some staff have gotten better and returned to regular working days but are aware of the accommodations available to thiem.

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melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/07/2012 / 11:48 am    #24

In what ways should organizational policies reflect the needs of people living with episodic disabilities?

De quelles façons les politiques organisationnelles doivent-elles refléter les besoins des personnes vivant avec des invalidités épisodiques?


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sherri.clifford
Member since 04/13/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/07/2012 / 1:07 pm    #25

I all cases with policies they need to be based on a standard used in your organization. They must state what the purpose of the policy is and its scope is. There must me communication about the policy and state how the policy will be communicated ie; staff meetings, annual training etc. The policy need to be signed and understood. There would also be the need to evaluate the policy to ensure it is being followed correctly. For example, a Return to Work Polciy should include training of supervisors and managers. It should be reviewed annually. It should include an evaluation invovling employees who have used the program to ensure satisfaction of the program or to suggest changes or make comments about how the process worked or needs to be change. Communication between superviors/manager and employees is key dealing with episodic disabilities. Without on going communication the changing needs of the employee and the organization will not be met.

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Messages 1-25 of 47
 
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