Successful Return to Work (RTW) programs rely on more than just the delivery of healthcare to injured or ill workers, they also call for effective managerial governance of the entire process at an employer/organisational level.

RTW outcomes are more likely to be successful with early and continued contact between the workplace, the employee and the employee's health care team, as well as effective management of the employee's accommodated work.

These practices sit under managerial responsibility, indicating a need for more research into how managerial policies, procedures and practices can impact on successful RTW.

Dr Richard Cooney from Monash's Departmentof Management led a research team to address this knowledge gap.

This team analysed Victorian businesses that have successful implemented beneficial RTW practices at an organisational level.

The project's objective was to develop a bank of effectivepolicy/procedure templates and governance mechanisms to facilitate the improvement of RTW implementation among Victorian organisations.

Where to now?

This project concluded in 2014 with the release of a final report, including a set of visualisation materials intended to help RTW Coordinators refine policy and procedures in their workplaces.

The report confirms that organisations with good RTW outcomes have organisational infrastructure for employee wellbeing, provide training for managers and employees in RTW and have effective organisational governance arrangements (including formal reviews of the program and regular reporting between stakeholders).