Hey, there. Michael Stack here, CEO of Amaxx. We’re about a month out from the conclusion of the National Work Comp and Disability Conference held again this year in Las Vegas back at Mandalay Bay.
Take Away #3: The Nordstrom Way: Boosting Injured Worker Engagement
Now, my third takeaway comes from the keynote presentation of the conference itself which was given by Janine Kral called The Nordstrom Way: Boosting Injured-Worker Engagement. Now, Janine did a tremendous job of describing their program at Nordstrom, the system that they use, their philosophy, as well as the positive outcomes that it has returned for their company.
Now, I have about six pages of notes from this one session alone. But, it’s not the system or describing the specific elements of the system that my key takeaway point to pass along. The key takeaway point to pass along is the idea that we all know Nordstrom for the idea of exceptional customer service. She described their handbook as having one rule: use good judgment at all times. We all know when we walk in to Nordstrom the difference between that retailer and another. We know their reputation for company service, customer service. We know their reputation for value. The key takeaway point to pass along isn’t the system that Nordstrom has implemented because I talk about the system and the proven methodologies in nearly every blog or training that I’ve ever done. But, it’s the importance of this key element of a vision, a clear goal, and mission for the company that resonates throughout every level of employees.
Now, one of my thoughts when I walked out of this session was tremendous system, fantastic job, Janine, in implementing it, in running it and achieving these results. But, my thought as a member of the audience was that people may look at that and say, “Well, we’re not Nordstrom. We’re not self-insured. We don’t have this tremendous culture of this idea of customer service. Our employee handbook is 300 pages thick. It doesn’t just say, ‘Use good judgment at all times.’ How can I possibly be successful? Great job for you but how can that even help me at all?”
Company Vision, Goal, & Mission
The key takeaway is not only recognizing the importance of this vision and importance of this goal, the importance of this mission of your company, but if you don’t have it and you recognize that, is to work to start to achieve it in some way. It doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with one very, very small piece of building that management commitment. If you don’t have that, that’s your first area of focus in order to start to achieve these results and start to build this system, and start to build that momentum in order to create those positive outcomes. Takeaway number three is start to build this vision, this goal and this mission and if you don’t have that currently, that’s the place for you start.
Take Away #4: Understanding Injured Worker Perceptions About Workers’ Compensation
Now, my fourth takeaway comes from a presentation entitled Understanding Injured Worker Perceptions About Workers’ Compensation. Now, this presentation was given by Michele Adams from Disney, as well as Dr. John Ruser from WCRI. Now, Dr. Ruser obviously presented the studies and the findings and the data, and Michele talked about how they use these studies and findings and data to create actionable items and improvements in their work comp system to create better injured worker outcomes, as well as drive down their workers’ compensation costs.
Very quick I want to run through some of the data that Dr. Ruser presented and some of the predictors of injured workers’ outcome. I want to through these fairly quickly. He talked about the main predictors of outcome being education, their fear of being fired, whether or not they have comorbidities, and the last thing is their understanding of the English language. Their amount of education, whether or not they have a fear of being fired which also can be equated to their trust in their employer-employee relationship, whether or not they have comorbidities and their understanding of the English language.
Michele then went into fairly good detail about how they take this information and use it to improve their system. I thought it was a tremendous presentation. I have a bunch of notes from this one presentation alone. But, the key piece and my key takeaway from this one particular session to pass along to you was a statement that Michele made about observational data. I think one of the things that we find so often in our world today is an overwhelm of data. If you can take this information and you have a sophisticated system and you’re advanced in your knowledge of being able to tweak things and understand this data and really create these actionable items that Disney had, you can really use this data extremely effectively to create these better outcomes. But, the reality is that not every company is there. Not every company is that sophisticated. Not every company is that advanced in their journey of workers’ compensation management to be able to take this information, put it into practice immediately and create these outcomes.
Understand Value of Observational Data
The takeaway that Michele mentioned that not only are they sophisticated in understanding this data and creating these actionable systems, but she talked about the value of observational data to go out and actually see what is happening with what they call their cast members in the parks. If you go out and you’re observing what is happening and you say, “Well, at the beginning of every shift, X, Y and Z happens. The employees come and we’re getting a number of these injuries.” Then you can use that observational data, go back and look at it from a very pragmatic and analytical standpoint to create these systems. From a very simplistic standpoint whether or not you’re going back and analyzing your own data and creating these sophisticated systems, if you can just physically observe what’s happening, you’re physically having these conversations with employees, the value that that can now bring to your program is tremendous. You can create a very comprehensive behavioral-based safety program based around this idea. But, the simplistic idea of observing what’s happening is a key piece to continuous work comp improvement.
Author Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center .