How To See Massive Value Through Better Employee LOAs

Better believe that better leave benefits benefit everyone; a tongue-twister nearly as tricky to navigate as a modern leave of absence (you said it out loud, didn’t you…).

Traditionally, the discourse around better leave benefits has focused primarily on providing employees with a robust set of leave policies in an effort to demonstrate employer support for employees needing to step away from work.

While increasing leave benefits for situations like miscarriage or mental health is a tremendous step in the right direction for bringing more humanity into the workplace, it overlooks one tiny little itsy-bitsy thing:

HR and People Ops teams around the country weren’t properly equipped to manage leaves at scale before, so with new policies being implemented and new legislation being enacted regularly, the pressure teams are facing to deliver effective and empathetic support to employees in need has become nearly impossible to handle.

The good news is that if you’re reading this and throwing your hands up helplessly, not all hope is lost. Organizations nationwide are evolving their approach to LOA management (more on that below) with solutions that not only relieve the anxiety within HR and People Ops teams, but provide a better leave experience for employees and deliver massive value throughout the organization.

Better LOAs Provide Organizations Huge Value

Every People Ops pro wants more time in their day to help drive key business initiatives forward and to, for once, be able to exhale (remember that feeling?). Of course, if that was all a better leave of absence approach gave to your organization it would be worth its digital weight in gold, but there’s so much more value to gain.

The truth is that when it comes to managing leaves of absence, ditching manual, risk-ridden spreadsheets, and cold, friction-laden carrier solutions creates a tidal wave of positive impacts for your business that is felt beyond freeing up your team’s time.

A modern leave of absence solution should automate what once was manual, simplify what once was complex, and generate real value for your organization while empathetically supporting your people in their time of need.

Below are just a few of the ways your organization can see massive value from improving your employee LOA process.

Leave Transparency Improves Workforce Optimization

To paint a more complete picture of the pressures HR face whe

By establishing an easy-to-use and transparent leave process you create an environment where your people feel confident in putting work on pause when attending to life’s pressing matters.

Fostering this flexible workforce optimizes business results and boosts the overall well-being of your employee population, but to achieve high levels of success in this endeavor adjustments to your leave processes and technology solutions must be made.

Beyond that, the process and solution you choose should ensure that managers are educated and kept in the loop throughout the leave journey.

“Managers play a critical and often undervalued role in a successful leave of absence,” says Tilt CEO, Jen Henderson. “Managers sit at the intersection of, “There is still work to get done. Will this person come back? And who on the team is going to do this work?”

In light of that, ask yourself this: “How easy is it for managers at my organization to understand the details of a direct report’s leave of absence, and how effectively can they be kept abreast of sudden changes to a leave so they can workforce plan accordingly?”

A transparent leave process equips managers with the insights they need to enhance operational effectiveness, improve employee productivity, and enable employees across your organization to perform at their peak every day.

With the right leave management tool at your disposal, your organization won’t have to drive blind when it comes to workforce planning and your organization will reap the benefits accordingly.

Improved Leaves Boost Employee Productivity and Engagement

The more informed managers are about leaves of absence the better it is for workforce planning, but it also provides a major value boost in culture building.

Perhaps unsurprisingly according to SHRM, 76% of employees report that their manager establishes their workplace culture. This underscores the importance of not only your leave of absence policies, but the ease and comfort your employees feel in requesting a leave and embarking on that journey.

Managers also have a heavy hand when it comes to engagement, in fact, according to Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace Report, Managers account for 70% of the variance in team engagement.

“Managers really do hold the keys to employees’ psychological safety, confidence in their return, and feeling cared for,” Jen adds. “All roads lead back to managers.”

A better leave of absence experience for your employees can result in a massive value add through employee productivity and engagement alone, but the benefits of better leave are actually two-fold.

Not only does a better leave experience make employees happier and more productive, a subpar leave experience can have the opposite effect. A bad leave experience can lead to resentment, reputational damage, potential lawsuits, turnover, and an organizational failure to deliver on its business goals and customer demands.

The Joy of Automated and Accurate Pay Calculations

“It was my understanding that there would be no math.” – Chevy Chase impersonating former president Gerald Ford, and almost every People Ops pro struggling to keep up with the complexities and real-time changes to payroll when an employee takes a leave of absence.

If your leave of absence payroll process today involves manually tracking and updating leaves on a spreadsheet, or trying to siphon information from a short-term disability carrier, you’re likely pulling your hair out trying to determine exactly what you owe employees taking leave.

“Often a leave of absence is supplemented from a pay capacity through a short-term disability policy,” says Jen in a recent episode of the Modern People Leader Podcast. “ The problem with that scenario is that there are a lot of other moving pieces with a leave of absence. There’s your company policy, in the 13 states that have passed leave legislation there’s a state policy, so only having the outreach to that one provider is an incomplete solution and frustrating from a user experience standpoint.”

Then there’s the manual math component that causes tremendous frustration for People Ops and can (and often does) lead to costly payment mishaps. Either you aren’t paying that employee enough while on leave or you’re paying them too much and having to ask for money back.

Manual leave tracking is a payroll nightmare.

“You’d be amazed how many complex Excel Docs and Google Sheets get built out by HR and People Ops teams trying to manage leave,” Jen adds. “The spreadsheet problems are self-explanatory. They don’t scale well and they’re prone to human error. With the complexity of leave that has risen in the last 5 years, spreadsheets can’t handle the “if/then” scenarios that arise in a leave through cells and formulas.”

A better LOA experience should incorporate automated pay calculations that factor in the whole range of benefits the employee is entitled to and adjust payment in real-time should any leave details change.

Prioritizing a smooth state benefit application process is also vital as the process can be daunting for employees to navigate and stressful for People Ops teams to administer.

Employees should have a guided state benefit application experience, no matter what state they reside in, that gives them the confidence to know they’ll receive accurate pay.

How to Improve Your Employee LOA Experience

Now that we’ve covered how a better LOA experience can create tremendous value across your organization in a variety of ways…how exactly do you improve your process?

The solution to subpar leaves isn’t as complicated as you may think. Eschewing spreadsheets and ill-equipped carriers for a trusted leave management software can easily give you the power to provide scalable, accurate, and consistent leave plans for your employee population.

Tilt’s approach to leave management blends sophisticated technology to keep your organization compliant, regardless of the leave type and regardless of the state, and also provides a level of transparency to give People Ops, managers, payroll and employees the insights needed to ensure all necessary parties are on the same page.

Tilt also addresses the human side of leave. Here’s a tragically common leave scenario that emphasizes why a trusted leave solution should rely on technology, but not at the expense of removing the humanity of a leave:

“The stories that hit me the hardest are when you have the loss of a pregnancy or the loss of a newborn baby and those parental leaves turn into bereavement leaves,” explains Jen. “An employee shouldn’t be resigned to clicking buttons trying to self-serve in a soulless database saying to themselves, ‘What do I do now?’ That is not a time for technology, that is the time for our Leave Success Managers, whom we call “Empathy Warriors,” to get on a phone call and provide human-to-human, heart-to-heart support.“

Tilt removes the burden of leave management without compromising the heartbeat of these real humans experiencing real life.

Take a walk through the Tilt platform and see what a better employee LOA experience looks like. Trust the experts to deliver both massive amounts of empathy and value to your organization for every leave request that comes your way.

Better employee LOAs are better for humanity and better for business, but they can’t be achieved with People Ops perpetually under pressure with antiquated solutions at their disposal.

Better leaves can be achieved, easily, however, with Tilt.

About Tilt

Tilt is leading the charge in all things leave of absence management through easy-to-use tech and human touch. Since 2017, our proprietary platform and Empathy Warriors have been helping customers make leave not suck by eliminating administrative burdens, keeping companies compliant, and providing a truly positive and supportive leave of absence experience for their people.

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