Handbook Extract: RTW Coordinator Competencies
The information in this article is from the Return to Work Matters Workplace Systems Handbook, under the RTW Coordinator competencies chapter. The complete handbook is available in PDF and online format for all Return to Work Matters subscribers.
to work coordinators perform complex roles, balancing the needs of individuals with the needs of the
They must be able to deal with people in distress, as well as with busy supervisors who are juggling production matters. They also need to be able to influence senior staff and external stakeholders, and oversee program and policy development.
Identifying the skills and competencies required of a RTW coordinator helps with:
|•||HRs’ selection of appropriate RTW coordinators;|
|•||Identification of training needs, including initial and ongoing training; and|
|•||RTW coordinators’ understanding of the important aspects of their role.|
The competencies required of a
RTW coordinator will vary depending on the size of the organisation and the number of cases or
On average, small organisations have one claim every seven years. Medium-sized organisations with a greater number of claims need a competent coordinator who can deal with both strategic and day-to-day operational matters. Large organisations deserve a coordinator who is particularly capable of work in the strategic area.
Much of this section is about competencies for RTW coordinators working within medium to large organisations.The section on RTW Management may be of assistance when thinking about the competencies of RTW Coordinators in small organisations.
Strategic and operational competencies
coordinator’s work is broadly divided into two areas, each with its own particular
|1.||Strategic – the development of policies, relationships, and management structures that streamline return to work management; and|
|2.||Day-to-day operational activities – dealing with individual cases, issues, and conversations|
Studies of RTW coordinators have
found that they believe that the greatest improvements in injury management occur through the development
of systems and relationships – i.e. through strategic work. Despite this fact, most of their time at
work tends to be devoted to operational tasks.
Day-to-day case management is often more pressing and easier to quantify and discuss than strategic work. When a RTW coordinator focuses on case management, they have the feeling that 'things have been done.' However in the long run, less is achieved. Focusing on day-to-day case management at the expense of strategic work is a common trap for RTW coordinators.
|Time spent on building relationships, engaging managers, training supervisors||Focus on the day to day of case management|
|Greater success||Less success|
|Easier life||Limited cooperation|
|Less frustration||Less calls returned|
More information on specific
strategic and operational competencies included in the complete handbook.
Training and development needs
vary according to case load, organisation size, and the other work responsibilities of the RTW
In a small organisation – of, say, 20 staff – high levels of training are impractical. In large organisations there is a greater need for the RTW Coordinator to be able to focus on system and strategic work and to be of broad influence.
Training options include:
Training options specific to RTW
Training options relevant to the coordinator's competencies
|•||Advanced communication skills, including:|
|•||Influencing senior management;|
|•||Presentation skill development; and|
|•||Conflict resolution and mediation;|
|•||Spreadsheet and database management;|
|•||Organisational management; and|
For more information on implementing workplace systems, including specific strategic and operational competencies, join Return to Work Matters today to access the complete handbook.
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