How to Deal with an Employee with Limited Work Capacity

Having a good employee who is restricted in their capabilities can be a very challenging situation. This is especially true if he or she is a valued team member, but can’t put in the hours due to certain limitations. Whether it’s a preexisting condition, and injury suffered on or off the job, you obviously have moral, ethical, and legal responsibilities to him or her. However, this doesn’t mean that they are completely protected from being terminated or having their role and/or responsibilities changed. Although this article isn’t specifically about legal ramifications, it will give you some effective tools on how to deal with this particular set of circumstances. Read on to learn more about how to deal with an employee who has limited capacity.

Every Situation is Different

Limited capacity can mean the number of things, including an inability to perform certain physical tasks, and other situations. But, most often it is due to a physical limitation which prevents him or her from fulfilling one or more of their responsibilities. These can range widely, from an inability to lift certain amounts, to not being able to sit for a protracted period of time.
An ever persistent problem facing employers is what to do with the employee who is chronically sick or has a serious health problem. Besides the obvious issues it presents to the employer- additional strain on other employees to pick up the slack; inability to properly staff and manage work loads; basic coverage concerns- there are also potential state and federal legal ramifications if the absences are not handled and documented correctly. —HNI Risk Services
Whatever the case may be, It is up to you to be as accommodating as possible, without fully compromising your company’s position. In other words, it’s best to strike a balance and find a happy medium where you can accommodate their needs while also allowing them to fulfill most or all of their work responsibilities.

3 Key Ways to Deal with an Employee with a Limited Work Capacity

There’s no hard-and-fast set of rules for coping with an employee who can only work in a limited capacity. After all, no two sets of circumstances are exactly the same. But, there are some general parameters you should observe. Here are three good ways to deal with a team member who is limited in their work capacity:
  • Gain a real understanding of the circumstances. Whether it’s a back problem, issues with a disease, or anything else, you need to have a very clear idea of what’s going on with your employee. Understand precisely what his or her limitations are and aren’t. This way, you’ll have enough information to make good decisions when it comes to his or her role and responsibilities.
  • Make strategic concessions where necessary. Even your best employee can suffer from very unfortunate sets of circumstances and still be able to contribute to your company in a number of ways. Though it’s difficult to comprehend or even accept, it could be a detriment to your business (that is, if you insist on keeping everything the same). So, think outside the box and make strategic changes so he or she can continue to be a productive asset for your company.
  • Realistically reassess the situation periodically. Sometimes, this can be a long-lasting situation that can go on for years. Or, it could only last for several months. Regardless, you need to take the time to reassess the situation every now and again.
What other suggestions do you have? Please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your unique perspective; it’s greatly appreciated! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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