The objective of work readiness programs is to ensure workers can safely perform the physical duties of a job. It starts with a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) to compare the worker’s physical capabilities to the work requirements outlined in the functional job description. An individual’s physical abilities such as joint integrity, muscle performance, and aerobic endurance may be measured and evaluated to see how they compare to the job’s requirements. If not adequate, therapists develop a personalized, goal-based work conditioning program to build up the employee’s strength and improve their musculoskeletal health.
By undergoing specific work-related physical therapy and training, employees develop the confidence and strength needed to safely perform the job while avoiding injuries.
Work Readiness Gets Injured Workers Back-to-Work
When a worker is injured, the goal is to get them back on the job as soon as possible. Employees want to get healthy and back to work, and employers want valued staff members to return quickly. If an employee remains out of work too long, they may become out of shape and prone to more injury once they rejoin the workforce.
Physical work readiness programs, designed and implemented by skilled physical therapists, can help workers regain and improve their mobility, range of motion, and overall musculoskeletal health before going back to work.
Along with helping employees recover, work readiness programs are useful throughout an individual’s employment, from onboarding to when they retire or leave the organization. New hires may not be accustomed to physically demanding work, so they’ll need ways to transition into their demanding new roles. And older workers may need help maintaining their muscular strength when coping with age-related health conditions.
Emphasizing the Value of Self-Care
Work readiness programs can enhance or restore employees’ wellbeing with activities such as warm-up stretching routines, job simulations, and training. These programs enhance new and existing employees’ strength, endurance, and flexibility, using onsite physical therapists, job coaching, and safety reminders. These techniques reduce the chance of worker injury and associated costs while keeping workers mobile, active and pain-free.
In addition to physical conditioning, onsite physical therapists can provide advice on how to improve employee wellbeing with home-based exercises, work pacing, and lower back care.
Benefits of Work Readiness
With work readiness programs, employees can learn how to:
Build muscular strength and physical endurance
Use proper posture and mechanics for various work activities
Perform work functions such as lifting, pushing, and carrying without injury
Reduce pain and stiffness
Improve their overall quality of life through better health and endurance
Investing in Employee Wellbeing for Long-Term Benefits
It’s important to work with therapy service providers who understand your organization’s job functions and their impact on musculoskeletal health. Without a qualified work readiness program, employees may take on job activities too early or that they aren’t qualified for, risking injuries and impacting productivity.
WorkWell has the expertise needed to help clients develop effective work readiness programs and employee training programs that enhance worker safety.