Filing forms is pretty much no one’s favorite thing to do. Whether it’s for work or for a doctor’s appointment, there are few things we’d rather fast-forward through more in life than filing a (insert your favorite expletive adjective here) form. While filing forms are a necessary part of most leave of absence journeys, we’ve found that the experience can actually be a positive one for employees about to embark on some much-needed time away from the office.
The crux of making form filing an easy experience for you and your people centers on the relationship between People Teams, leave management vendors, and the employees themselves.
The Right Amount of Reliance on Vendors
What we know for sure is that making a positive form filing experience doesn’t mean taking the task completely out of the hands of the employee and HR professionals. In fact, we see time and again how outsourcing the entire form filing processes has led to a disjointed experience for the employee where they’re totally left in the dark. Leaving the total fate of your employees LOA forms up to the invisible hand of a vendor plants doubt in their minds as to whether the form got filed at all, and if so, that it got filed properly and with accurate information.
Outsourced or not, the truth is that states have no tech integrations when it comes to filing forms. This means that even if you aren’t the one manually submitting a form, someone is, and where there are manual steps there are risks for human error.
What’s worse than having to file a form? The anxiety that comes with not knowing why your benefits paperwork hasn’t been processed because you weren’t privy to the 3rd party clerical error that occurred weeks ago. The frustration that comes with not knowing who to turn to when it happens. The sudden onset of migraines when you learn that for some reason your form was filed twice. The real-world pain that comes with not receiving leave compensation and trying to figure out where the money is going to come from.
Make it Super Simple for Your People
The truth is that the best form filing experience for all parties involved is an inclusive one where all the hard work is done for the employee, but they’re in control of submitting the form. Give them a secure platform where information is housed in one location that makes it crystal clear to employees what forms need to be completed and when.
By providing a truly supported process where they aren’t burdened with the administrative work, yet have visibility into the completed form allows them access to make sure everything looks as it should prior to submittal. Then make sure it’s as easy and straightforward as possible to know when and where to submit and they’re all set.
Not only is this experience much more positive than having them have to fill everything out on a confusing form, it also provides comfort and security in knowing that while putting it together was straight-forward and easy, but they also are still in control of their own process and don’t have to wait on a 3rd party to submit it for them. Will they submit it on time? Will it reflect their recent change of address? That level of uncertainty is a frightening experience for many employees.
The empowerment approach has proven time and again to not only be a positive experience for employees, but for HR managers responsible for leave of absence management as well. We understand that outsourcing a process like this in its entirety t is so wrought with potential for legal ramifications and a poor employee experience that it does more harm than good to all parties involved.
Form filing specifically is an instance where guiding employees for 99% of the journey and then handing them the baton to cross the finish line is the optimal balance of relief and responsibility. This is how you turn an otherwise daunting task into one where you’re left with happy and informed employees while keeping organizational risks at bay.
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.