JDAs – Maximizing Their Value

Job Demand Analysis (JDAs) have become increasingly more important to employers. For those who intend to deploy pre-employment physical function screens, the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures state that a thorough JDA is needed. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a JDA should be used to define the essential functions of the job, including the physical demands that the work requires. By doing so the accommodation process will flow much smoother. Finally, when an employee becomes injured, a JDA will allow medical professionals to set realistic and applicable rehabilitation goals, as well as to more accurately determine if an employee can be released to work.

While a JDA sounds better than sliced bread, a typical JDA also usually comes with three weaknesses that restrict it from providing its maximum benefit.

First, many organizations approach JDAs with a one-and-done mentality. They invest in the analysis and a written report, and then they carefully store that written report on a shelf. This approach is acceptable if the demands of the job never change, but with today’s continuous improvement mentallity, change is inevitable. JDAs need to be reviewed and updated both after process changes and periodically to remain effective; employers must see JDAs as a living process.

Second, that carefully stored report is difficult to share with others. Doctors, physical therapists, and case managers are examples of who can benefit from a better understanding of the physical demands of the job. Ideally, it should be simple and easy for them to review to make better decisions.

Third, employees often do not move directly from being injured to full capability. Physical improvement happens in stages, and it is during this period that employers struggle with how to keep those employees engaged, productive, and safe. The typical JDA process makes finding that balance very difficult, and employers either focus solely on the employee’s current job or create some meaningless task for them to complete.

AtlasWork™ was designed to help employers maximize the benefits of JDAs.
1.    AtlasWork™ reminds organizations to update the JDA when ergonomic solutions are completed or on a client-set general update schedule.
2.    AtlasWork™ allows clients to decide who gets assessed and if they can only view or if they can view and edit JDAs.
3.    When an employee returns to work with restrictions, those restrictions can be input into AtlasWork™ and compared to the job demands of every job within the facility or within specific departments. By doing so, the employee’s capabilities are used to quantifiably identify if they can return to their job with or without accommodations, or where they can safely work elsewhere and be most productive. If they are not 100% ready for their current job, the analysis can help clearly identify rehabilitation goals.

If you are interested in learning more about how AtlasWork™ can maximize the value of JDAs, please contact us. We are confident you will like what you hear.