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What we learnt from the Roosters Grand Final win
As sponsors of the Rooster’s Coach Trent Robinson, the victorious NRL Grand Final was a proud win for GSA. It was a momentous game with Cooper Cronk becoming the first player in 45 years to win consecutive premierships at different clubs. What was even more impressive was the way Cronk’s teammates carried him to the premiership.
Cronk was “touch and go right up until game time. We had to come up with a game plan to protect him as much as possible, and we executed that." Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner explains.
Robinson commented on Cronk's performance, "I've seen guys get injured in games but I haven't seen a guy fracture his scapula, [a] complete break through the scapula, and then play 60 minutes with it, then have to deal with it all week, have four different lots of injections through the week - I've never seen a guy as mentally strong as Cooper Cronk."
Cronk’s ability to play with a fractured scapula wouldn’t have been possible without his teammates supporting him on the field. An adjusted game plan was devised and Cronk took on an “on field coaching” role.
The teamwork displayed on the field should be no different in a workplace. Considering the events from a Workers’ Compensation perspective, suitable duties can empower the injured person.
Dianne Thomas (Manager, Workers Compensation), explains what businesses can learn from the Rooster's teamwork around supporting Cronk. She outlines the importance of a good return-to-work program. “Employers who employ effective return-to-work programs have reported considerable savings in Workers’ Compensation costs. A return-to-work program can also help improve productivity, loyalty and lift employee morale reducing wage loss and facilitating early return to work. It is also important to meet the legal requirements for a return to work program in NSW, by 31 May 2019.”
The benefits were evident at the Roosters, "Everyone at this football club has sacrificed something for me to be here. I don't take that responsibility lightly, that was the motivation, and it was my duty to do whatever I could do to repay that faith," Cronk said to the NRL.
Dianne explains that “Return-to-work programs should operate hand-in-hand with your risk management tools. Functional and detailed return to work plans should be created to fit an individual’s specific capacity and limitations.”.
The successful win by the Roosters was enabled by the team’s willingness to support Cronk on the field in a different capacity to usual. The Roosters played with 12 functioning players in attack, not 13. It was a great illustration of how an organisation that supports it’s players (or employees) can reach victory even after a serious injury.
If you would like more information about how to devise effective return-to-work policies, speak to GSA.