Mehiläinen’s work coaching service is a service that supports vocational rehabilitation and employment. It is designed for situations where the employee’s ability to continue working in his or her current position or returning to work is at risk due to health-related reasons. Work coaching can also be utilised when the company is dismissing employees and the employees need support with the preparation of a work-related follow-up plan.
Whenever there are problems in terms of coping at work, employees usually need one-on-one counselling and guidance in order to identify their professional possibilities and the sources of support for implementing their plans.
The taking of timely measures that support the employees’ coping at work and their ability to work makes the management of work ability risks easier. Timely measures help to prevent the loss of productivity and to reduce sickness-related absences and to prevent the increase of pension contributions.
A work coach can already at an early stage, before the actual work ability problem has prolonged, conduct discussions with employees, where
- employees are provided with information on various support measures
- the various support alternatives are charted in order to create readiness to consider the alternatives for coping at work instead of resorting to sickness-related absences and disability pension.
Counselling in subsistence-related matters
The work coach selects, together with the employee, the concrete ways and routes that enable the employee to transfer to a new more suitable work. In addition to career counselling, the work coach clarifies the matters concerning the employee’s subsistence and the sources of financial support for his or her work-related follow-up plans in the future. When creating the work-related follow-up plan, the work coaches work in close co-operation with not only the occupational health care and employers, but also, for example, with the employee pension insurance companies, insurance companies, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), work management, and educational institutions.
How to access work coaching services
Work coaching can be arranged in occupational health care on the basis of the consultation request sent by an occupational health physician or nurse as a consultation by an expert in the social-services sector, when the company is entitled to compensation by Kela (KL1).
The service can also be launched directly on the basis of a commission of, for example, the company’s human resources department or the supervisor, if there is concern over the employee’s coping at work or his or her ability to work. If a risk of disability is discerned, the service usually starts as a consultation service provided by an expert in the social-services sector and the further commission is given by an employee pension insurance company or an indemnity insurance company.
Work coaching as a part of occupational health care services
The employee benefits from the work coaching connected to the occupational health services, since it enables him or her to create a concrete work-related follow-up plan with the same expert from the start to end.
Also, the occupational health care and the employer can monitor the progress of the situation of an employee with a partial work ability when the vocational rehabilitation is planned. Usually this is not possible, if the planning of vocational rehabilitation is transferred to an external service provider.
Work coaching arranged as a consultation by an expert in the social-services sector enables the utilisation of vocational rehabilitation and employment support services at an earlier stage. A work coach is a neutral operator outside the employment and patient relationship, which enables the conducting of realistic discussions with a patient concerning his or her situation and alternatives. The emphasis in the discussion lies in solving the problems, instead of concentrating in the illness.