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that information in the employee’s personnel file.
Remember, documentation is not just for the
company’s protection; it should also be used to
communicate with the requesting employee. “It is
very helpful to communicate with the employee all
along the process,” Batiste says. Without regular
updates, employees can feel forgotten and suspicious of the company’s intentions. Telephone and
in-person updates feel more personal; just be sure to
document the conversation afterward and provide
a copy to the employee.
STEP 7 Follow Up Regularly
An accommodation request is never closed. Even after the
change is approved and implemented, check in with the
employee and manager regularly to see how the accommo-
dation is working out. Don’t assume everything is fine just
because no one is complaining to HR, Mook says. “Say-
ing ‘the employee never raised an issue’ doesn’t mean the
employee can’t raise the issue later.”
A follow-up schedule can lengthen over time. For exam-
ple, it may make sense to check in with the worker and the
manager a few weeks after initial implementation, followed
by quarterly meetings during the first year. Going forward,
an accommodation check-in should become part of the per-
son’s annual performance review. Be sure the employee and
manager know they can bring any changes or issues regard-
ing the disability or accommodation to HR’s attention at
any time. And of course, document all follow-up measures
in the confidential file.
Follow these guidelines consistently and continually and
your employees will feel valued, your organization will be
protected, and your workplace will be more productive.
Jennifer Arnold is a freelance writer based in Jacksonville
AN ACCOMMODATION REQUEST IS NEVER
CLOSED ... CHECK IN WITH THE EMPLOYEE
AND MANAGER REGULARLY TO SEE HOW
THE ACCOMMODATION IS WORKING OUT.