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30 September 2019 

Common mistakes during reintegration. Tips to reduce absence time

Common mistakes during reintegration: By means of this article, we would like to provide insight into these errors during reintegration, so that you, as a manager (or HR ), can take advantage of this. The aim is to shorten the absence and to keep employees healthy at work.

Absenteeism is incredibly annoying. Not only for the employee but also the manager. In the case of burnout, the employee is often completely mentally and physically overloaded. As soon as the diagnosis is made, the doctor advises going back to work as soon as possible after rest. Of course, in many cases, the employee cannot immediately start working again, nevertheless, it is not wise to wait too long before planning to return to work. A healthy routine is good for everyone.

This is, of course, all done in consultation with the doctor or coach. When an employee can go back to work, however, there are quite a few pitfalls for managers, which makes reintegration difficult. Of course, it is not always that simple as a manager. The most common mistakes made by managers are therefore listed below so that you can at least prevent them!

 

 

Pay attention:

In our free toolkit you can find how to recognize a burnout early

Download free!

 

 

Push employees too much during re-integration

Of course, as a manager, you have to deal with certain goals that must be achieved and activities that must be done. For that, you simply have to finish and then stimulate the employees. However, try to spare someone who has just returned to the workplace. We often point out to managers not to expect performance in the beginning. Ultimately, this performance will come back and you can demand certain things.

Don’t push too much and let him or her get used to working again at their own pace. You will see that it is mainly about peaks and troughs. Sometimes enormously productive and as if nothing is wrong, but at other times nothing seems to work. It is precise during those last moments that you tend to push. However, this is counterproductive and will not help you either further, resulting in longer-term absenteeism.

Remember that someone who is burned out would love to be fit and work again. Often the fear is the ‘bottleneck’ that makes reintegration more difficult. Pushing too much is counterproductive

Also read: recognize stress among employees

 

pressure on employees during re-intregration

 

Think that someone is completely healed 

An employee only comes to work again when it is completely better again. That is at least what many managers think. However, that is not the case at all. When someone is burned out, the doctor or coach often advises not to sit at home too long and too often, because it can only make it worse. The result is that people are often back on the work floor while the burnout has not yet been completely resolved. As a manager, keep this constantly in mind and keep it in mind. Also, someone will not immediately function at 100% and it is therefore not wise to demand from him or her. Bear in mind here that the trait of the employee with burnout is likely that he/she does not feel any limits.

Also read: increasing employee resilience

 

Show no understanding

The most important thing you can do for someone who is burned out? Show understanding! That applies in a private situation, but certainly also in the workplace. As a manager, show that you understand the situation and the employee himself. You can do that with word and gesture. For example, write a card or give him or her an occasional heart by asking how it goes.

Also read: let an employee express himself

 

Have a dual agenda

Another mistake that is common among managers is that they work with a dual agenda. Although on the one hand they feel sorry for the over-stressed employee and want to see them better, at the same time they want work to be performed in the workplace and they would rather lose burnout employees than risk missing deadlines or targets. Such a double agenda is anything but workable and can also cause many problems later on. By the way, it is not handy to work as a manager with a double agenda. Understand that the working climate often contributes to the burnout of the employee. Therefore, first, have someone fully recovered. Give him/her a fair chance and then consider whether you will continue together or not.

Also read: burnout signals from employees

 

Faults during reintegration

 

Unclear communication

When someone returns to the workplace after a burn-out, he or she benefits from clarity. This certainly applies to the manager’s communication. A common mistake is that managers are not clear when it comes to expectations, wishes and feelings. As a supervisor, it might be wise to insert special moments for this. For example, clearly, agree in advance what the expectations are of yourself and the employee who returns to the workplace. Evaluate this together once a week and discuss what else can be done. Give him or her the feeling that they can always come to you. Always be clear and prefer to put things on paper so that you can both use them later. As a supervisor, you can also indicate that you do not understand burnout,

Also read: keeping employees healthy

 

 

Avoid absence!

The key often lies with the manager.

For this, follow the stress management training for managers

 

 

 

No structure for reintegration

As a company and as a direct supervisor you must ensure the right climate in which someone can return to the workplace after a burnout. A good structure is perhaps the most important conditions. Make sure there is a clear range of tasks and that everything preferably goes according to fixed agreements and chronological order. Of course that is not possible with every profession and/or company, but still, try to offer as much structure as possible. Prepare someone who returns after a burn-out well for what is to come and give him or her the same tasks as much as possible, so that habituation occurs. A clear structure ensures less tension, which means that things will gradually improve.

Also read: learning objectives to reduce absenteeism

 

Do not inform other employees

Some managers see it as their duty of confidentiality not to say anything about the burnout of a staff member to the other employees. That is, of course, well-intentioned, but it is precisely a common mistake that can cause anything to go wrong. If you do not inform other employees, for example, they do not understand why their colleague has to perform fewer tasks, get easier work and receive different treatment than the rest. As a result, an enormous number of problems can arise and nobody wants that of course.

Be sure to inform the other employees about what has happened and also tell them about the reintegration and how it will work. With this, you naturally create more understanding and fewer problems will arise. In fact, you often see the opposite happening and colleagues start helping and supporting each other! As a manager, you are of course always looking for a better working atmosphere.

Also read: common problems in companies

 

Expect the same performance from someone as before the absence

Another common mistake by supervisor. After a time of absence, someone who has been spanned returns to the workplace on the advice of the company doctor. After a friendly welcome interview, he or she starts working again and suddenly it appears that the work is no longer the way it was before. Many managers are very surprised about this. They expect someone to perform the same as before. That is simply not possible. Of course, things will get better and better in the long run and the end, almost everyone who has been burned out will return to the old level. However, that will not be the case immediately and can sometimes go very slowly. As a manager, therefore, do not expect miracles.

Read also about internal mobility

 

Return to work after absence

 

 

Also, view our approach to reducing employee stress levels:

Training stress prevention for employees

 

 

 

Do not offer safety

An employee who has been burned out often has negative feelings about himself. This is reflected in, among other things, uncertainty in the tasks that he or she must perform. This can be the case in the private area, but certainly also in the workplace. These uncertain feelings are only strengthened if the employee thinks or experiences that the workplace is not a safe environment. Unfortunately, that is exactly what goes wrong with managers. They do not succeed in creating a safe environment in which an employee can be who he or she is and moreover can always express himself. If things are going a bit less, there must be room to be able to discuss this with a colleague, a manager or a confidential adviser.

Read here: increasing safety

 

Playing as a coach yourself

Many managers try to act as a coach themselves. Under the guise of ‘I am sometimes tired’ and ‘a little discipline can do no harm to anyone’, this type of manager ensures that reintegration will not be successful.

Supervise, guide, and facilitate, but do not sit in the chair of a specialist. You simply cannot understand everything. So stay with your reading as a manager!

For burnout coaching look here: burnout coaching

 

The most common mistakes made during reintegration after sick leave 

Above are the most common mistakes made during reintegration after burnout. A summary of the facts that we see daily in practice. There is a lot of misunderstanding about repairing burnout.

Ultimately, it is preventive that deserves attention. Fit, strong employees who can roll up their sleeves in a healthy way.

View our range of prevention training courses. Extremely successful when employees burn out in the organization.

Do you have a work-obsessed employee?

View our selection to keep over-engaged employees fit:

errors in reintegration

Who Are We?

Milltain supports, with a team of experienced trainers, organizations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. Our training courses are aimed at managers within companies. A burnout quickly costs the organization € 70,000.

In addition to financial suffering, human suffering is great. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before you know it you are in a negative vicious circle.

Do you want an effective approach to long-term absenteeism and increasing work pleasure? (instead of extinguishing continuous fires).

 

We are happy to inform you about our training courses: 

About the author
My name is Ruud Meulenberg. Owner and founder of Milltain and Meulenberg Training & Coaching.
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