In many cases a return to work conversation would be a quick and informal check-in with the employee. However, where there is a pattern of short term absences occurring, you may need a more structured meeting.
The below information should be used as guidance. It aims to support managers in having return to work conversations. As a manager, you are in the best position to determine how to structure each discussion to suit the given circumstances.
The objectives of having a quick check-in conversation following short term absence are to:
- Welcome the employee back.
- Check that the employee is ready to return, and has not come back too early.
- Seek the cause of the absence and give the employee an opportunity to highlight any relevant issues.
- Offer solutions to any issues raised and where appropriate, refer to employee assistance programs.
- Agree a review period and/or any actions required, if appropriate.
The above is not an exhaustive checklist. Most times, people will be forthcoming with information if you just simply ask: How are you doing? Are you ok to be here? Is there anything I can do to help?