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Thriving at Work After Sickness Absence

Free 1 Hour
Professor Karina Nielsen from the University of Sheffield will present the results of a recent research project on which how workers with common mental health conditions have recently returned to work after long-term sickness absence can be supported to thrive at work. 39 returned workers and 20 line managers with experience of managing returned workers were interviewed multiple times.

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We identified resources at the individual, group, line manager and organisational level (policies and practices) which helped workers thrive at work after return.

Take-home messages:

  • We have a shared responsibility for supporting workers who have returned after prolonged sickness absence due to common mental health conditions
  • There is no one-size-fits all, an individualised approach is needed to support workers
  • Return takes time and ongoing dialogue is needed to manage adjustments over time

Learning Outcomes

The IGLOO framework for sustainable return to work for employees with common mental health conditions
Individual job crafting strategies for staying and thriving at work post-return
What types of support from friends, family, colleagues and line managers help returned workers
HR policies and practices that support returned workers
Recommendations on program evaluation measures


Karina Nielsen
Professor Karina Nielsen is Chair of Work Psychology and Director of the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Her main area of expertise lies within organizational interventions focusing on how we can change work practices and procedures to main and improve employee health and wellbeing. She is also interested in how line managers can promote employee wellbeing and how we can develop sustainable workplaces that enable workers to perform well and thrive at work. This program is pre-approved by VRA Canada for a 1 hour training session.

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