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The 2017 Guardian Absence Management Activity Index and Study

Cover of Guardian's 2017 Absence Management Study on best practices for managing employee leaves.

Our 2017 study provides insight into the progress employers have made with managing employee leaves as well as opportunities to achieve further positive outcomes by enhancing elements of an absence management strategy.

Employers are making absence management a higher priority, but advances can still be made

This study is the latest in Guardian’s ongoing research that takes a look at trends in employee leave practices and outcomes: 

  • In 2013, our research identified the five best practices for achieving positive outcomes
  • In 2015, we outlined a proven path with steps to help employers just starting out on their absence management journey
  • Our latest study provides validation that employers who follow best practices and are more advanced in their leave management activities are experiencing favorable outcomes

These findings are reflected in an increase in the Guardian Absence Management IndexSM – a measure of the level of employer activity on key elements of an absence management program. Holding steady at 3.7 since 2012, the Index increased by 19% to 4.4, the first increase in four years. Despite the improvement, this average index of 4.4 (on a 10 point scale) indicates further improvements can still be achieved.

Read our study to gain insights and statistics on:

  • The elements of absence management programs that are gaining the most traction
  • How successful employers have been in reaching goals, enhancing productivity, reducing costs, and how they’re tracking progress
  • The roles that outsourcing and health management initiatives like employee assistance programs (EAPs) and wellness programs have in achieving goals

Regardless of whether your company is just getting started or already has a mature absence management program in place, our study can help identify potential opportunities and next steps for continuous improvement.


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