How to communicate effectively for successful reintegration

Communicating effectively and at the right time is key for the successful reintegration of employees. As a golden rule, you should keep communication channels open from the moment the employee reports their sickness absence until after their return to the workfloor.

As always, prevention is better than cure. But even if you were unable to prevent your employee from going on (long-term) sick leave, keeping in touch regularly is the best approach to reduce future absenteeism and to increase the chances of a successful return to work.

From long-term absence to a successful return to work through communication

Effective communication and keeping in touch proactively with long-term absentees will have a long-term positive impact. It will reduce the risk of fade-out – a process that causes workers to slowly fall off the radar and no longer return to work – and increase the likelihood of a successful reintegration.

The conversations you have with employees on long-term sick leave are extremely valuable as they help you gain insight in any underlying causes for absenteeism among your workforce and how to tackle those. But the question is: what to say, when to say it, and what not to say?