Job coaching is on-the-job guidance and instruction that can assist a person to return to work successfully and in a sustainable fashion after illness or injury.
What is involved in job coaching?
Prior to providing job coaching as much information about the job itself and the worker involved is reviewed in preparation for the job coaching session. If possible a job duties analysis (JDA) should be made available to identify the tasks that need coaching and possible modification. (Another good reason to have JDAs completed for every job.) Once on site a detailed ergonomic assessment of the environment and the work practices of the individual is conducted to identify barriers to a safe return to work. Any barriers identified are addressed by coaching safe work practices and by making recommendations for environmental changes. Administrative changes to work practice alone is not always enough to produce a sustainable return to work. Sometimes the environment and aspects of the job need to be changed too. Job coaching should also integrate the graduated return to work by reviewing the graduations in hours and job duties with the worker to ensure that they are on the same page as the employer and medical providers. A thorough job coaching session can take several hours and should occur as close as possible to the worker’s first day back to work.