Life happens. All of us, at some point, are faced with difficult situations that can have a dramatic effect on our lives and our well-being. When stressful events such as a separation, divorce, death in the family or financial troubles hit, they can take a toll on our mental and physical health. The key to managing our health is our ability to navigate available resources, to ensure that we are able to work through the issues.

Often when we are faced with a stressful life event, we’re not aware of what resources are available despite there being myriad options. In our on-demand world, we can access information on the Web or connect through social media and instantly become informed on a host of issues. However, in order to build resiliency and sustainable health, it is important that we access the right information and programs to meet our needs. Navigating our health is not easy.

As such, it is important that companies clearly communicate what resources are available and how they can be used to support an employee or family member dealing with a mental, physical or social issue. Organizations can spend lots of money on resources to support employees, but while employees may remember the names of programs, they might not know how they can access them or benefit from them. For example, an employee with high blood pressure may not realize she can obtain health coaching through her employee assistance program to learn how to lower her blood pressure.

Employees who are unable to work due to a disability are often not informed about how to navigate the resources that can help them reduce the duration of their disability and return to work sooner. However, if the employer offers a case manager who can speak with the worker to establish the issues, ensure that he is receiving adequate support and help him determine what he can do in the workplace, the employee can know he is making full use of any resources available. Using traditional behavioural interviewing skills and probing for what additional supports an employee needs can yield huge rewards—not only with return to work but also with the employee feeling valued and supported.

Progressive organizations are maximizing the value of their programs through integrated and employee-centred initiatives.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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