Looking after the wellbeing of staff who regularly work alone is an issue employers’ need to consider; looking after Lone Workers with medical conditions needs even greater attention and simply cannot be left to chance that ‘everything will be fine’.
Sure, employees are responsible for their own health and wellbeing to a large extent, however as an employer in these ever-changing times of the new millennium, taking that corporate responsibility for staff wellbeing is not only good for your employees, it also benefits the business too.
So, what can you do as an employer for lone working employees with a medical condition?
Well there’s a few things actually that might surprise you.
Want to find out more? Read on..
Demonstrate a Level Of Understanding And Empathy
This is the crucial first step.
If an employee has plucked up the courage, (and it does take a lot of courage to confide in your employer about matters that are very personal, including that of health and wellbeing), take the time to listen to them.
Allow them as much time as they need to talk to you about their circumstances whatever it may be, and reassure them that you have an open-door policy for whenever they want to discuss changes in their medical condition, whether or not these changes have a direct impact on their work.
This understanding and demonstrating of empathy is even more important when the employee is a lone worker, as it is very possible they may not feel confident to come and speak to you if they are used to being on their own for most of the time.
It could be an acute illness which comes on suddenly and is relatively short term such as an infection, but that may require time off to attend urgent doctor’s appointments and undertake the necessary treatment which will get them back on their feet again.
Or it could be something more chronic, which means that this is something the person lives with for the longer term, and which may need more flexibility for regular appointments and treatment, but which ultimately enables the employee to continue with their job.
Whatever the case may be, by being flexible around shift patterns for example, or even examining a change in role together, might just be the tonic which prevents the condition from getting worse.
This works especially well if the employee is suffering from poor mental health, which is particularly synonymous with lone workers, but honestly, any degree of flexibility will always emphasise your desire to show understanding of the condition, whatever it might be.
Does your employee need somebody to go with them to their appointments perhaps?
If they are not comfortable with you going because you are the boss, then why not discreetly ask if they would like somebody from HR to go with them. And always be gender appropriate! As hard as you might be trying, a female employee might not be comfortable with a male going along and sitting through an awkward discussion about the menopause for example, or vice versa of course.
Do they need additional time off to recover from any illness? Show your support by encouraging a time managed return to work so they don’t feel obliged to pitch up after any long-term illness and be working at the same capacity as they were prior to taking time off. And offer to get another employee to shadow them for a while, just until their confidence returns, and they are happy to work alone once more.
Invest in Products That Minimise Risk
If your employee has a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, for example, invest in personal safety products that will help to prevent any unnecessary tragedy from occurring.
So whether you think a personal kit device which activates at the push of a button and can alert any escalation contact of any dangers or change in circumstances is a good option, or you want to look at out of hours lone worker monitoring, First2HelpYou has the right product for you.
And by investing in personal safety products for your employees, you not only demonstrate understanding and empathy to their medical condition, but you are also showing a level of commitment to their long-term future with the organisation which will boost their self-esteem enormously.
The result of which will lead to more loyal employees meaning lower recruitment costs and better productivity, which has got to benefit the business right?
So, if you are an employer who has a lone worker with a medical condition who needs your support and understanding, why not contact us here, or call us on 0333 772 9401 to discuss your requirements and arrange protection today.
We have a team of experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the lone working safety sector, who can offer advice and guidance as to which product or service will suit your employee and your organisation.