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Health Management - Return To Work - Welcome back

Human Resources


Health Management

Welcome back

Return to work

Welcoming your employee back

Employees who have been off for a short time might not need as much structure with their return. In general, it is important to make employees feel welcomed and that they have the resources they need. For employees who have been off for a long time, the return to work can be a stressful and difficult transition. The steps might apply less so to employees who have been off for a shorter time.

Before the first day

The following provides a general guideline is assisting the return to work transition. In preparation for the employee’s return to work, the supervisor should call or meet with the employee coming off leave to discuss expectations. Topics to consider are:

  • How the employee would like the supervisor to handle questions about the absence.
  • How an employee feels about returning to work. Are they apprehensive, concerned, or excited?
  • New staff members who have joined the team.
  • New policies, processes, or systems that the employee should know about

Make sure the rest of the team knows that the employee is returning and follow his or her wishes in regards to how to address questions about the leave.

First day

  • Give a warm welcome and create a sense of belonging
  • Any changes necessary for accommodation should have been made, but it is a good time to review the return to work plan.
  • Introduce staff members who joined the team while the employee was on leave. And make sure the rest of the team knows the employee on leave is back.
  • Let the employee know about any regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Depending on how much has changed or how long the leave was, you might need to remind your employee how to log-on to the City network, access email and voice mail and guide them to any business unit specific pages are on the Intranet. You might have to review any forms such as timesheets, get a photo for a security card and/or give a tour of the work space.
  • Review if training is required, and arrange as soon as possible.
  • Supervisors and employees should set attainable goals for the first week or few weeks of work.
  • Consider scheduling follow-up meetings to check back in. For employees who have been off for a long time, make these weekly.

Next steps: continued monitoring

  • Check back in with the employee at the end of each week to see how they are doing.
  • During those meetings, review the original goals that were set to see if they were achieved or if there were challenges that can be addressed. Set new goals.
  • Remind your employee of the resources available through The City’s Wellness and Benefits programs.

Who can help?

Your HR Advisor can discuss your situation and provide advice. If you don't know who your HR Advisor is call HR Support Services at 403-268-5800.

Next section: Healthy At Work