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Using POET to Improve Your Firm's Productivity

Using POET to Improve Your Firm's Productivity

Updated June 14, 2021 Originally published April 10, 2020
Danny Sanchez, PT, CEAS

Using POET to Improve Your Firm's Productivity http://www.onsite-physio.com/workplace-wellness-programs/using-poet-to-improve-your-firms-productivity @onsitepysioWhen you come right down to it, productivity is the lifeblood of any business. If you can’t get things done, you have no products or services to sell. If you can’t do things well, your products will be poor quality. And if you can’t get things done on time, you’ll lose customers. Post offer employment testing (POET) can help improve your firm’s productivity.

It may seem strange to hear that a test can have bottom-line value. But it’s true.

CriteriaCorp (@CriteriaCorp) says using objective data allows you to make better informed hiring decisions. Post offer employment testing helps you get that data. CriteriaCorp says POET “results in more productive employees, reduced turnover, and less time and money spent on hiring and training costs." The right test “can provide relevant information on a job applicant's ability to perform in the workplace.”

Many pre-employment tests assess things such as knowledge and office skills. Or they screen for drugs. But you can use post offer employment testing to assess physical capabilities. And the benefits can be considerable.

Here’s a Familiar Scenario

You’re in hiring mode. You’ve sorted through applications and interviewed candidates. You’ve chosen the person – or several people – you want to hire. The position is physically demanding. Your finalists seem strong and healthy. But are they up to the job, day in and day out?

Hiring is a risky business:

  • 1 out of 10 new hires is not physically able to perform the job’s physical demands
  • Many new hires have pre-existing conditions
  • Most new hires are not fully aware of the true physical demands of their new job

This is a recipe for problems. And every one of them jeopardizes your firms’ productivity. Workers who cannot do their work in a safe manner put your company at risk. The likelihood of on-the-job injuries goes up. That increases your risk of increased workers’ comp claims. More claims mean higher costs.

An injured worker slows production. When certain tasks are painful, people move slower. Or they avoid doing those parts of their job at all. Often, injured employees are not able to work at all. You’re faced with the same production schedule, but now you’re short-handed. This is a serious concern in many industries. It’s critical in any industry - whether your employees are hotel housekeepers, healthcare workers or manufacturing plant personnel.

The only way to maintain your work schedule with fewer people is to rush through the work. Rushing produces sloppy workmanship. Your hotel rooms won’t be quite clean. Your patients may have to wait longer to receive care. You cannot meet your customers’ delivery deadlines. And rushing through their work increases the chance that more employees will become injured.

It’s a downward spiral.

Post Offer Employment Testing Helps You Hire Better

Richard W. Bunch, Ph.D., P.T., C.B.E.S., is a Certified Behavioral-Based Ergonomic Specialist. He was invited to share his experiences with the Louisiana Association of Occupational Nurses. He told them, “Numerous medical studies have implicated poor work design, unsafe work behaviors, and poor physical fitness as contributory to the development of the vast majority of [musculoskeletal disorders].” 

Dr. Bunch believes that “job-specific functional testing is highly effective at properly matching employees to job demands, reducing injuries, and improving work productivity.” CriteriaCorp concurs. They say, “Research demonstrates that professionally developed, well-validated pre-employment tests can successfully predict employee productivity across a wide range of job types and industries.”

In other words, you can avoid hiring injuries. When you hire the right people, you protect your firm’s productivity.

How Does POET Help?

Post offer employment testing has a specific purpose. It ensures your desired candidate can perform all the physical demands and essential functions of a specific job. And that they can perform those functions in a safe manner. You use POET evaluations only after you have made a formal job offer. Employment is contingent on successful completion of the test.

Testing after you have made the offer complies with ADA and EEOC regulations. The law also requires that POET evaluations relate specifically to the job being offered. Some physical testing techniques are theoretical. Many mimic work movements, but in a clinic setting. These methods are better than not testing at all. But they cannot recreate actual working conditions.

At PhysNet, post offer employment testing replicates all essential job functions. We use detailed Job Demands Analysis performed on-site to create the components of each test. Our POET results provide a baseline that helps identify any pre-existing conditions. That limits your company’s legal liability if the employee becomes injured later. It also helps to resolve workers’ comp claims. POETs are also more accurate than traditional functional capacity evaluation. That makes it easier to predict when your employee is fit to return to work.

We combine post offer employment testing data with on-site physical therapy for injured workers. Employees who receive treatment at their jobsite recover faster. And they learn how to work in a safer manner in the future. They are back on the job sooner, with lower risk of repeat injury.

One grateful hospitality company executive tells us, “Our savings have been realized by getting employees trained properly so they do not re-injure themselves. This treatment model trains the employee for their specific tasks in their natural job environment, rather than a clinic where everything is simulated.”

POET even helps you develop better job descriptions. That helps applicants understand the work required. They don’t have to guess or make assumptions. Instead, they will have realistic expectations. Too often, new hires quit within a few weeks because the job is harder than they thought it would be. When it comes to productivity, turnover is a momentum-killer. And it’s expensive.

With POET, you can maintain and even improve productivity. And your workplace is safer. These findings from two well-known national studies sum it up:

  • Companies that did not use POET had an average injury rate of 23%. Companies that used POET reduced injury rates to a mere 1%.1
  • Companies that implemented POET had 41% fewer workers’ comp injuries.2

It’s easy to see how post offer employment testing could improve your firm’s productivity. And just imagine how much time and money your company could save on hiring and workers’ comp claims.

  1. Scott L. Post offer screening. J Am Assoc Occup Health Nurses. 2002; 50(12):559-563.
  1. Anderson C, Briggs J. A study the effectiveness of ergo­nomically based functional screening tests and their rela­tionship to reducing worker compensation injuries. Work. 2008; 31(1):27-37.

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