My husband has always said that rugby league is a great metaphor for life and as I watched the Grand Final on Sunday I couldn’t help but notice the way the Roosters pulled together to make Cooper Cronk’s “return to work” possible. Cronk played with a fractured scapula and without the team supporting him on the field, his “suitable duties” would not have been possible. While Cronk’s performance on the field has been described as “almost managerial”, such was his importance to the team, they devised a game plan based on 12 functioning players in attack, not 13. His work mates needed him to be there and they made it possible.
It should be no different in a workplace. While, of course we would never suggest that an injured employee perform such rigorous suitable duties as Cronk on Sunday night, the biggest influence on the outcome was the team strategy which allowed him to participate meaningfully and contribute to the overall performance. It illustrates what can be achieved when teams function well and look out for each other.
When an employee returns to work on suitable duties there are unavoidable flow on effects – notably others have to do more work to make up for the duties not being carried out by their injured colleague. Unfortunately, this can lead to workplace conflict with other employees becoming disgruntled that they have to pick up the slack.
We work with our clients to help them promote, facilitate and model a healthy workplace culture where every person on the team is considered important to the overall vision of the organisation. Everyone, from the bottom to the top is valued for their contribution. So, if one of the team is unable to do their full duties, there is no question that their role will be covered by others. Because we have each other’s backs. We help when help is needed.
Cooper Cronk’s “return to work” on Sunday night is a great illustration of how an organisation with a healthy culture that values the team can positively influence someone’s return to work following an injury.
If you need assistance to improve your workplace culture, email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9893 1877.