Whether you are just getting started, or already have an absence program in place, the Guardian Absence Management Activity IndexSM and Study can help you get a sense of where your company stands today and set an action plan for continual improvement.
An employer’s path to success
In today’s challenging benefits environment where employers are facing new health care reform laws, tight budgets, and heightened pressure on productivity, the importance of absence management remains strong.
Within this dynamic environment, Guardian is committed to helping employer’s manage employee absence. The 2015 Guardian Absence Management Activity IndexSM and Study is an update to our 2012 market study, which explored market trends in application of absence management practices.
So what does it take to be successful?
Our 2015 study revealed three key findings that we feel are particularly noteworthy.
- Our index held steady. Despite a challenging benefits environment, employers have continued with their absence management efforts; and Guardian Absence Management Activity IndexSM is still predictive of outcomes.
- Employers are getting on board. With greater absence resources and third-party expertise available in the marketplace, more employers feel they can overcome former obstacles to their absence management efforts, such as applying American Disabilities Act (ADA)/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) regulations and coordinating a variety of absence types.
- There's a proven path to follow. Through our research, we gained a clear understanding of how absence management programs have progressed and how employers that organize themselves along the following path can achieve absence management success and experience positive outcomes in an expedient manner:
- Set a Philosophy:
Place equal priority on returning employees to work, and encouraging employee health and wellness.
- Take Foundational Steps:
Make sure to get senior management buy-in and follow a communications campaign.
- Determine the Model:
Outsource Short Term Disability (STD) and Family and Medical Leaves (FML), make referrals to health management programs, incent wellness and incorporate the 5 best practices:
- A full RTW program
- Access to reports
- Referrals to health management programs
- A central portal for reporting
- Use the same resource for STD and FML
- Measure for Success:
Focus on employee engagement as the most important measure
- Set a Philosophy:
We hope you find this study to be a valuable and prescriptive resource, regardless of whether you are in the early stages of implementing an absence management strategy at your company or are more advanced in your efforts.