Absence is inevitable, deriving from sources such as sick days, short- and long-term disabilities, and family emergencies. Organizations may also find that needs for time away from work may vary depending on changing employee demographics.
Brokers who ask the right questions can identify significant opportunities related to absence management. The right questions help show you are prepared, concerned, and that you probably have potential solutions. But sometimes, brokers make assumptions about a customer’s situation or simply fail to probe effectively.
Consider adding the following lines of questioning — and, equally important, potential follow-up questions — to your repertoire on absence management:
- Has your company assessed the actual and indirect costs of absence to your organization? When was that assessment last updated? Can you share the results with us, so we can benchmark them and help you learn how you compare with other companies in your industry?
- How are you managing the Family Medical Leave Act program requirements now? Do you have a point person and process in place to help ensure both federal and state compliance? Does that responsibility and process include updating requirements and effectively communicating them to all affected parties?
- Do you have a process in place — beyond posting notices concerning family medical leave and disability protections — to help ensure that your employees fully understand not only their statutory rights, but also what you have provided them that helps support and enhance these basic protections?
- Do your employees fully understand and appreciate their statutory and company-provided disability benefits? What have been the results of employee surveys in this area
- Have you developed an absence management plan for different segments of your employee population? Have employees participated in providing input?