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5 Best Practices that Drive Absence Management Success

Colleagues reviewing five best practices for managing employee absences.

If you’re looking to have your company’s absence management efforts pay off, be sure to incorporate these activities proven to help achieve better outcomes – like enhanced productivity and reduced costs.

  1. A FULL RETURN-TO-WORK (RTW) PROGRAM
    This program should include the following elements: 
    • Written RTW Policy
    • An interactive process (where employee, HR, manager, case manager, and/or physician discuss RTW possibilities)
    • Transitional RTW plans
    • Guidelines for the duration of disability based on diagnosis 
    • Nurse case management 
    • Offering accommodations to facilitate RTW
       
  2. DETAILED REPORTING FOR DISABILITY AND FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVES (FML).
    Comprehensive claims/absence data reporting has become necessary for a well-run program. It’s beneficial to be able to produce or obtain a broad range of reports related to usage patterns, claimant status, and cost. 
     
  3. A PROCESS THAT GIVES EMPLOYEES REFERRALS TO HEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. 
    A disability and/or FML process that includes giving employees referrals to health management programs like Employee Assistance Programs, disease management, and wellness programs, helps to solidify an absence management program. 
     
  4. A CENTRAL LEAVE-REPORTING PORTAL FOR SHORT TERM DISABILITY (STD) AND FML. 
    Often by phone or online, a centralized portal should include reporting for at least STD and FMLA leaves. If possible, include other leaves such as sick/vacation leave or paid time off. 
     
  5. USING THE SAME RESOURCE FOR STD, FML AND OTHER BENEFITS. 
    Using the same department or vendor to administer leaves makes for a better and more efficient overall experience – for the employee and employer. Start with managing STD and FMLA leaves together, then integrate additional leave types like long-term disability, Workers’ Compensation, paid time off, and parental leaves.


How effective are your company’s current absence management efforts?

Check out the Guardian Absence Management ScorecardSM to see how effective your absence management measure up to other companies – plus, get customized online recommendations that can help you drive better results. 

Overview

2019 Absence Management Study
Video: 2019 Leave Management Symposium
2017 Guardian Absence Management Study
Why Outsource Disability & Absence Management
The Guardian Absence Management Scorecard
5 Best Practices for Absence Management Success
Infographic: Making Strides In Absence Management
2015 Guardian Absence Management Study
Webinar: Jump Start Your Absence Management Program
2013 Absence Management Activity Study

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