Make Your LOA Partner A Powerful Extension Of Your Team

Why is it so hard to let go of things that no longer serve us?

The truth is it’s something we’ve all experienced in life, and it often stems from the fact that the act of “letting go” is difficult when we hold onto beliefs that tell us letting go may cause us some level of harm, or that not letting go is bringing us a benefit.

When looking through the sensitive lens of an employee leave of absence, it can be hard to let go of the belief that sticking with the processes you’ve always had is best for People Ops teams, the employee needing support, and your business.

Even when the evidence suggests that managing your employee leaves of absence with spreadsheets, Google searches, and 1-800 numbers leads to nothing but stress for all parties involved and strategic shortcomings, the deeply personal and human element of a leave can make it difficult to trust support from outside your organization nonetheless.

In a perfect world, you could rely on experts to effectively and empathetically manage your leaves of absence without having to be left in the dark for such an important function.

In a perfect world, you’d be able to automate all the administrative functions of a leave and be assured your employees have dedicated human support when they need it.

In a perfect world, your LOA solution accounts for every leave law, in every state and administers your employee leaves easily, consistently, and compliantly.

In the real world, that requires finding an LOA partner that keeps you safe from the manual missteps and compliance risks of your current processes, one that doesn’t remove the human element from such a human employee experience, and one that gives People Ops teams complete, real-time transparency into all things leave within your organization.

Find an LOA partner that will act as an extension of your team and you can begin letting go of what’s no longer serving you. Then you can start viewing your leave of absence process as a benefit to your organization, not a harm.

Tilt Recap: It can be hard to know when it’s time to make a change, especially when it comes to the way organizations manage leaves of absence. People Ops leaders are recognizing, however, that the old way of managing leaves is leading to team burnout and an inability to effectively support employees. They’re recognizing the old way is causing harm to business operations and are looking for LOA partners they can trust.

Why Employers Can’t Risk Getting Leave Wrong

A major reason why employers are looking for leave of absence support in the first place is that leaves are uniquely complicated and come with tremendous risks.

“It’s very easy to get leave of absence wrong,” said Tilt CEO Jen Henderson in a recent episode of From the Ground Up. “Not only from the ‘what are you eligible for component,’ but also the pay component and the job protection component. Suffice it to say that the opportunity for HR to step out of compliance is enormous. One of the main reasons that employers are looking for an outsourced solution is that they recognize and often have experienced the consequences of doing it wrong.”

So what does getting leave wrong really look like from a practical, boots-on-the-ground, point of view?

Organizations that manage leaves of absence today typically do so with their own individual flair, but by breaking down how a poor LOA process impacts organizations on an individual level it can help demonstrate why getting it wrong makes it harder to justify the status quo approach.

The People Ops Team: A substandard leave of absence process puts a tremendous amount of stress and strain on People Ops Teams. Leave requests are unpredictable in nature and are susceptible to going sideways (say from a Caregiver Leave to a Bereavement Leave) at any moment.

Having to stay on top of evolving leave laws as employees scatter across the country puts serious pressure on teams to administer leaves in accordance with the law. Manual data entry leads to payroll errors and leave tracking mishaps, and having to act as the point of contact for employees when they need guidance is untenable as leave requests scale.

The Managers: Without complete visibility into real-time leave information, effective workforce planning is nearly impossible. Managers tend to lack education on the specifics surrounding leave of absence, and are often the source of friction that can lead to everything from discrimination lawsuits to employee burnout and turnover.

The Employees: A suboptimal leave experience can be detrimental to employees. From missing out on coverage to not getting paid the proper amount to confusion at every turn, at the end of the day leaves of absence are about the employees needing to take time away from work to attend to significant life moments.

“Often a leave of absence is supplemented from a pay capacity through a short-term disability policy,” adds Jen. “So an organization will tell an individual who needs a leave of absence to ‘talk to the insurance company, reach out to them.’ It’s typically an independent 3rd party with a 1-800 number, it’s never the same person twice, and they’re singularly focused on the part of the leave that’s impacted by the STD policy. The problem with that scenario is that there are a lot of other moving pieces with a leave of absence unrelated to STD.”

Tilt Recap: Leaves of absence are unpredictable, stress-inducing, and rife with risk. Without a modern solution to address the modern complexities of leave, organizations run the risk of experiencing negative impacts, and sometimes costly ones, across their organization.

An LOA Partner Can Be Just What Your HR Team Needs

Before we dive into how trusting the right LOA partner with all of your leave needs is a benefit to both your humans and the business, it’s important to note that the key phrase “can be” in the header above.

Not all LOA partners are the same, so vetting their capabilities to determine if they’re truly providing the level of service required while not leaving your team, or your employees, in the dark is imperative.

Ask yourself the following questions when identifying and evaluating leave solutions:

Do they keep my organization compliant?

Leave laws are a little like lava. They are ever-evolving, can erupt at any moment, and if you’re not an expert you can get burned trying to navigate them yourself.

Tilt’s in-house team of leave law experts ensures that your leave requests are supported no matter the leave type, no matter the state, and no matter the twists and turns the leave journey may take. Further, Tilt’s platform educates employees and managers on their rights and responsibilities surrounding a leave, reducing the risk of avoidable discrimination claims.

Do they keep my organization in the loop?

Leaves of absence involve sensitive, personal details and experiences of your employee population. You should find a trusted LOA partner who does all the heavy lifting for your team while ensuring you’re in the know so you can achieve strategic success.

Tilt has provided a partnership that serves as an extension of our company’s People team to ensure our compliance with local leave regulations, while also helping our team members maximize and fully understand the benefits they’ll receive through our company’s policies and their local municipalities.

Take a look around the robust Tilt platform yourself and see how Tilt securely stores all relevant leave information in real time:

Outsourcing leave management entirely is a scary proposition and a risk in its own right. Stay informed without being overwhelmed.

Does the solution scale as leave requests rise?

With automation comes inherent scalability as the removal of manual tasks can have a dramatic effect on efficiency. Perhaps one of the biggest bugaboos in the leave management process, however, is paperwork that can’t be automated.

In particular, filing paperwork for state benefits. While it may seem like the appropriate form of support in this case would be to find a solution that files paperwork on behalf of employees, but not only is that risky, it’s also difficult to scale.

Tilt guides employees through the process of filing paperwork because it’s truly the only scalable option. It allows employees to own this very important part of the process and doesn’t rely on a human outside of your organization who may have 20 (or 50?) other employees they’re trying to file forms for simultaneously.

Will they make a mistake? Will they file the form twice by accident? What happens when a deadline is approaching but your team and employees rely on the timely submission of the application but you’ve given up control to a 3rd party?

Tilt’s platform simply manages your leaves of absence at any scale, and in the case of form filing, you want an LOA partner that can empathetically lead every employee through a successful state benefit application process whether you have 10 leaves at once or 100.

Tilt provides a perfect solution for us to manage compliance while minimizing our overhead, but more importantly, they ensure we can maximize the total employee experience. We’ve been using Tilt going on two years now and we couldn’t be happier with their expertise and people-centric delivery of services.

Do they take care of my employees, even when a leave goes sideways?

Technology is a wonderful thing when it comes to leave of absence management. In fact, it’s foundational to keeping operations running smoothly, compliantly, and with accurate data.

There are a few aspects of leave management, however, where technology won’t hit the mark.

Namely, employee support.

A leave of absence can be a trying time for employees. Some may be celebrating the growth of their immediate family, others may be mourning a loss they’ll never recover from. Then there are scenarios where an employee goes out on leave to take care of a loved one only to learn that a loved one has passed.

“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,” says Jen. “Often employers have absolutely no idea what to do with that, how to support that, how to navigate it, how to put it into their system. In times like these, employees shouldn’t have to resort to clicking a button in a lifeless platform, trying to self-serve and saying, “What do I do now?”

Perhaps the most impactful way Tilt acts as an extension of your team is our dedicated team of Leave Success Managers (LSMs), AKA Empathy Warriors.

Instead of dialing a 1-800 number and not knowing what to expect, every employee taking a leave gets a dedicated LSM who is there to provide a human heartbeat when leaves get complicated.
Instead of providing a resource library that requires employees to self-serve information when that’s the last thing that should be on their minds, Tilt gives them peace of mind that no matter what happens, an empathetic leave expert who has been with them from the moment go is right by their side.

I am more than satisfied with my experience with Tilt. Kelly Thomas (my LSM) has been extremely helpful throughout this process. She even reached out to me a second time to remind me that I had an upcoming date; very helpful as I forgot. I don't want to take another leave of absence; however, if I do, I'm very glad Tilt will be there to help me through.

Tilt Recap: The right LOA partner is hard to find. They should be experts in all things leave, create operational efficiencies with real-time information, scale as you do, mitigate risk, and deliver reliable empathetic human support to employees when they need it most. HR should be removed from burdens of leave administration, but not removed from the loop entirely.

Trust Tilt to Manage Leaves and Let Go of What’s Not Working

Trusting Tilt to manage leaves isn’t about relinquishing control; it’s about embracing a process transformation that empowers HR teams and supports employees through life’s pivotal moments. Where leave weaves an intricate blend of compliance, transparency, and empathy, Tilt stands out as more than a partner, but as an extension of your team.

By navigating the labyrinth of leave laws, streamlining processes, and offering unwavering human support, Tilt liberates HR from the shackles of outdated methods. It’s time to shed the burden of manual mishaps and compliance risks, and embrace a future where managing leaves of absence is not a source of stress, but a testament to organizational resilience and compassion.

Trust Tilt, and embrace the journey toward a better, more humane approach to leave management.

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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