What executive people leaders need to know to get ahead
2023 is shaping up to be a year that is tech-driven, data-led and focused on the employee experience more than ever. So if you’re still relying on the traditional ways of managing HR tasks and your team is taking in a mounting burden of work, this free industry session will show you how to step into the future of HR.
Join a Chief Strategy Officer as he delves into the most useful HR innovations that are on the horizon and how these new solutions can drastically improve processes, help you optimize leave requests and onboarding - and ultimately see you retain your top employees.
Find out what executive leaders need to know about to get ahead in the new era of HR.
Watch now for the free session today and gain insights on:
Mallory: [00:00:00:21] Hello, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. I'm Mallory Hendry, senior content specialist with Key Media. And I'm pleased to introduce today's webinar. HR Trends and Predictions Leaders Need to Know About for 2023. Today we have with us AbsenceSoft founder and Chief strategy officer Seth Turner. And over the next hour he'll cover a variety of topics from the most useful HR innovations on the horizon to how HR strategically contributes to overarching business goals, all of which will help prepare you for the future of HR in the New Year and beyond. At the end of the presentation, Seth will participate in a question and answer period, so be sure to type any questions you have into the Q&A box within the webinar software and if you'd like more information on the topics touched on today. Absent soft touch shared some white papers with us that will be available for download in the handout section following the Q&A. So I'll turn things over to our presenter now to begin the presentation. Take it away, Seth.
Seth: [00:00:55:28] Thank you, Mallory. And hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time today. I know it's a busy time of year and so I appreciate you spending some time with us. We're going to to really talk through about six trends that that we're seeing dramatically increase and take importance as we move into 2023. And so we'll spend some time on each of these. We will try to throw out some how to's as you start to think about moving into and implementing some of these or addressing these within your your organizations. Before we get started, my my legal team likes me to make sure that we say I am not a lawyer. So anything that I say is really a matter of my opinion and just things that we're seeing. Please do. If you're going to take any action on any of this, please do check with your own legal counsel and whether that's internal or external and make sure that you're getting that opinion from a from a qualified legal representative. Just a little bit about me. So I've spent the last 20 years of my life working with companies around leave disability accommodations, both on the outsourcing as well as the insourcing side. And so there's a lot of words here. But what this really says is that I spent spend a lot of time focused on these issues, trying to help clients figure out how do they solve for their leave and accommodations and make that process both more efficient, but also support their employees better. And I think one of the reasons I think it's an important topic is that we've just seen a dramatic change in the way both HR as well as the Leave teams are seen in an organization where they become much more a part of the strategic function and much less of a cost center or just administration. And so I think it's really an exciting time for HR. Exciting time for those of us dealing with with leave and absence and accommodations to truly see how we can make an impact and drive business results while we're getting more attention from the senior level organization. So as we go through today, we are going to focus more specifically on on a lot of the leave and accommodation topics, but we'll try to make those more broadly available focused on some of the more broad HR topics as well. I think this won't be surprising to anybody, but but some of the common themes we're going to hit over and over and that that really flow through almost everything going on right now is just around attracting and retaining employees and how to use different programs, different policies, different processes to improve that that experience and to to help with the attention. We've we've seen that the labor market is very tight, that the competition and work for talent is very, very competitive. And so we want to make sure that as we talk through that, we're addressing some of the things that we're hearing from our clients that are our top priorities as they they head into 2023. So, you know, first we were going to do just a quick poll on what are the biggest challenges you're seeing. And I'm sorry. So there we go. So if everybody can take just a minute and just just share with us what are the things that you're seeing from your organizations that are taking a priority? And I'm assuming some of them will be consistent with what we're seeing. But just want to make sure that as I talk through all of the topics here today that we're we're getting, we're focused on the things that are of a priority to to you as a as an organization. All right. We'll give everybody about another 20 seconds here to complete that. Right. All right. So it did. And I think you guys could see that I couldn't, but that the attracting and retaining were the top two. And so we'll we'll make sure that we we talk about that as we move through the topics today. So the first topic that we want to talk about is just using leave of absence to drive business results. And so one of the topics that I hear from from so many of our clients right now, as well as just general groups that I participate in, is that leave it becoming a benefit, whereas it used to be a addressing it as abuse or trying to drive down utilization rates. We're really seeing so many clients that are looking at this as how do they extend their leave, their leave programs to make those benefits. And I think it's a lot of that comes down to using that as as the you weren't in the labor market are tight that you're looking at. How do you improve the way you attract and retain and, you know, traditional benefits such as health care and 41K and even salaries have in some ways normalized. And so when you're competing against like offers, a lot of times that additional benefit can make a difference in how you bring people in. But it also helps with with how you're retaining your talent and improving that employee satisfaction. And so as we look at this, as how companies are implementing things such as maternity leave, paternity leave, sabbaticals, other types of programs that that may be viewed as benefits for employees, it's really been interesting to see the increase in the number of companies offering this, as well as the way that this has come into a strategic decision making conversation. I think what we see from clients that have implemented these is an increase on employee productivity as well as an employee increase in employee satisfaction and engagement. And so by giving employees some ability to use time off in a way that that helps them personally, they do see that as a benefit. And we certainly we rolled out a couple of programs in 2021 for for our newly pregnant or adopting parents and just saw a way that we were able to bring employees into the organization that we weren't able to before because people were afraid to make changes during that time in their life. And so I do think there's there's a tremendous benefit to looking at how you offer these these types of programs. And I think when you look at some statistics from recent surveys, you know, retaining employees is is incredibly important. And also that almost more than half of employers that that were surveyed are looking at adding some level of additional parental leave vacation time sabbaticals in 2023 to to address this issue and to make themselves more competitive in the market. You know, this can be a challenging topic to implement, right? Who wants to go to senior leadership and let them know that you want to give people more time off? And so I think just in a how do you execute on this and make it there, I think you really have to look at how you tie it to business results. And so looking at the goals of whatever type of leave program you would have are really important. And that's both from a from an employee engagement and satisfaction level, but also from a how does that contribute to the business? And so, so much of that can be measured in just how you're able to to recruit new people that wouldn't have been able you wouldn't have been able to get a conversation with as well as those that you look at as retaining that maybe would have taken a an unsupported leave and then left the organization before returning that those those are great ways to do that. I think the other considerations when you start to look at any type of leave of absence or really how do you implement this and not impact the business operations because there are clearly business outcomes that are driven by giving people some time off and increasing the depth of that that relationship with them. But you do you do face some hurdles and obstacles from, in many cases, managers that are looking at how are they're going to get the work done, as well as senior leaders that may look at this as an additional cost. And so we we always recommend for our clients to look at how are you going, what are the objectives of the program, And then really taking a poll of your your existing employees and looking at the benefits that may be most appreciated by them. And so when you look at sabbaticals, there's certain demographics where that really applies and works and seen as a benefit for others, that's not not as valuable. Same thing with parental and maternity and adoption types of leaves. Giving employees that time off works with with certain employee bases and populations, but doesn't apply to all. And so you want to look at what what programs are going to be. Most beneficial there. I think that the third part is really to make sure you're communicating that to all of your employees as you're rolling it out so that they understand what benefits are available to them and why you're doing this. And then the most important part is that as you look at the policies, you really have to evaluate who's eligible. A lot of our clients are looking at years of service and similar kinds of requirements to what maybe FMLA would drive, but that you're looking at maybe for a sabbatical. It's a five year, ten year versus a one year. And those types of things make sure that you're structuring it in a way that it is a benefit. It's one that's earned and not something that is entitled. And so that's really critical that you look at and then looking at how long you're going to. So the eligibility and the entitlement and whether that's a parental leave where you're doing two weeks for bonding or six weeks in addition to the FMLA or paid and unpaid. Those types of considerations all go into how you design that policy that you're going to to implement. And then you really have to look at then how you're going to support that and track it and monitor that. I think there's as you look at particularly the request period and making sure that you give people the requirement to request it as far in advance as possible so that you can start to plan for how you can support their day to day job while they're out and making sure that you've got people that can be delegated to that. You're not putting too much work on those people still at work and creating resentment because this should be a benefit that that employees appreciate as they're taking it. But also that doesn't create an undue burden on you, on you as an employer or the employees that are still at work while the person is on leave. So that's that's the first one. I think that's the second hot topic in the leave and absence space is really around paid leave, and I think this is something you just can't avoid at this point because there are two components to this. One is all of the federal and really the state law changes because the federal government's been very slow to react to what's a growing trend among employers and and employees and states. And so when you look at just the states that will have changes or have passed changes in the last year, you've got a quite a few where where there are different policies. And what's really difficult about these is every state is doing it differently. And so from an eligibility requirements to entitlements to pay percentages and all of those components, you really have to make sure that you have an understanding of the laws, a system or processes in place to support these, but also that you're evaluating them as requirements when you're when people are taking leaves. And so where used to be I won't call it simple with FMLA. And then as we've started to see a proliferation of state laws under 100 over 140 today of the different job protected types of leaves, these paid leaves are adding an additional complexity for employers to try to comply with. And so you just want to make sure that as as this legislators legal landscape gets more complex that you're planning for that that you've put those processes in place and that you're you're working through those. And I think the second component that we're seeing as a huge trend here in it, it ties back into the leave as a benefit as we are seeing a lot of employers that are either taking all the state laws and trying to do better than that and offering a more robust company program that is either leveraged through their disability program or run separately as as a as a payroll process to support paid leaves that our company defined. And some of those may be just again, complying with the state laws and making sure that you're giving a benefit that's greater than that. But also then looking at some other types of paid leaves that you may offer and may extend. And so we've seen richer benefits around maternity and parental leave, richer benefit more, more payment around sabbaticals, and then the paid family leave has become a topic. And so for those of you that do business in these states or that have in the past just worked with the state disability plan, you understand the complexities those. But I think we're really seeing a trend in employers and some of that was obviously due to the pandemic and some of the pay policies that came out of that. But they're putting more of these robust pay practices in place and supporting those as as company defined benefits. I do think as you look at these and as I spoke about before, you know, these can be positioned both internally and externally as as dramatic benefits for employees. So being able to speak to the way that you can do that, and we're not advocating in any way that you just give people unlimited time off and pay for that and don't hold any sort of requirements around that. So I think, again, as you implement these, you want to look at your eligibility entitlement and how you want to make these available to employees that can benefit the most from them, but also that don't disrupt your your business operations as your you're moving through that. And I do think that's that's going to continue to get more complex as we look into 2024 or 2025 and beyond, because we're still not seeing enough movement at the federal level to actually make this, say, a federal a federal component of of the paid leave. And as we've seen with the state laws, when the federal government doesn't do anything, the states don't back off doing their own thing. And so where we have 140 plus state leave laws for for job protection, and I think we'll continue to see states passing their own in addition to the federal. So this is just something that's going to be continuing to get more complex and it's something that you want to make sure you're continually monitoring and or utilizing a technology that does monitor for you and being able to then be prepared to to respond to to the things that are going on. The third component or third trend we're seeing a lot of and this is continued for many years. It's been a topic I think it escalated during the pandemic and has continued to grow in importance as employees have gone back to work and as as they're dealing with a lot of stressors they didn't have before that. And that's mental, mental and behavioral health. And so how did how do you address the dramatic needs of employees for support for this? It's, I think, gone beyond the ability to just offer any EAP and hope people adopt it, but to really need to be more proactive for that. And so how do you provide the right resources to your employees to support your your mental and behavioral health or support their mental and behavioral health? You know, we really look at how do you know that that we're seeing clients that are improving access to resources for our employees. And so that goes, as I said, beyond just the EAP, but to having specific programs just focused on mental and behavioral health. And as companies are rolling those out, it's really that's improving the access and resources for employees. I also think that the telehealth has in some ways decrease the stigma of getting help or allowing employees to do that without having to take time or somehow expose themselves to other employees as they're doing it. So it's been a positive trend. As we've seen. Stress rates have have skyrocketed. We've seen that impact. As you can see from the statistics below, burnout rates have have increased significantly and then it's just increased in prevalence of mind that it's become more than 20% of of organizations are looking at mental health as their biggest challenge, but also that almost 50% of them have considered adding some level of mental health support. And so as we talk about implementing that, I think you really want to look at promoting that mental health awareness. You want to make sure that you're training your managers to spot for signs of burnout and to get ahead of this versus reacting to to that. Because as we see trends in leave rates and in different other indicators that people that are suffering from mental stress then tend to either have physical physiological impacts or you see it in absence patterns. And so the more you can be aware of where some of these things may be impacted, you can can actually address them earlier and get people help before it becomes a problem. We are seeing carve outs and other ways that mental health coverage can be part of your health care offering. And so we're seeing that. We're seeing more and more employers provide that as a as a resource to their employees during during these stressful times. And then there's a component that you can control, which is how can you control the workplace stress? And so putting putting processes in place to help alleviate that can can be really important as you as you're looking at putting addressing that employee mental health. You know, and again, I think this is there's there's a lot of different ways to different things to think through as you're thinking about implementing a mental health program. But I do think the privacy piece of that is is really important. And how do you make employees feel like they're protected and they're safe in sharing this or that? They're going to the resources that they control. And I think that's part of why we've seen a move away in a lot of cases from just it being an app to specific behavioral health carve outs to give people the ability to get those resources and feel like it's more more separate and that their information is more protected. I'm sorry. All right. So we're going to do one more poll here because we're going to jump now into to more specific leave topics. And so let's go ahead and start here. So how how is it that you today are handling your your leave of absence administration? All right. I apologize. It takes a second here for all the responses to come in. Let's add a couple more here. All right. So it looks like we have a mix of people using payroll and HR es and then people that are using in spreadsheets, which we would all kind of lump into that manual process. And then a few that are using dedicated leave technology. So I'm going to go ahead and close the poll. So I do think as we start to move into technology and how we talk about that, I think one of the and it's more than it's something that's been a buzzword for a while, but it's something that's really taken a step into the forefront and that's that's employee experience. And it can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. But I think as we look at employee experience, it's more than just what we would add in the software world called user experience, which is how people interact with with an actual software application. I think it's really defined in a lot of ways as the total touchpoints that you have with an employee from the time that they enter your recruiting process. So whether that's through being outreach or inbound recruiting through that, that whole onboarding process in through their employment and then really focusing on at the time also of their exit and making them advocates as they leave. And so how do you make that whole process consistent and streamlined and all the way through? And I think it's not just, again, technology, but it's a combination of the physical piece of physical environment. It's a cultural part as well as then there's technology. And so when you look at the employee experience, certainly there's a big component in how you can deploy self-service tools and other things to make those things simpler for employees. But it's also how do you make changes to your physical environment to to improve the the way that employees are feeling about the way that they interact with you. And so we hear so many people talking about the the cultural and other types of of processes that they're implementing. But you're also want to make sure you're caring for that technology and the and the physical part of that that work environment, make sure that they have enough private space or that they have the right standing and physical desk space to be able to work and that you're caring for any other types of needs that they may have. You know, I think as we really talk about how do you implement employee experience or why would you implement employee experience, It's it drives engagement. So when we used to talk about employee engagement with a huge topic and I think it's really shifted to employee experience being a bigger topic that that employee engagement is a part of and or a result of. And so you really, as you look at that employee experience, it's important that you know that it is going to improve the engagement that your employees have with you as an organization and the way that they feel about their employment relationship. It's all the studies have shown that it's more about the work they do and the way that they feel that that drives how productive they can be. And so as you have better employee experience, it also drives your ability to compete for talent because you'll have both advocates internally as well as as alumni that that can speak to what a great place it is to work and what a great experience they had there. And that will help you be more competitive, because I do think one of the things the pandemic has changed is people are much more focused on their work life balance and how they feel about their work. And so there's very much a need to make sure you're caring for the things that will make that experience strong and keep them there. 0And that's really that fourth bullet here, which is in addition to bringing them in, it's going to help you retain them by by having a place where they feel comfortable working, where they have a good experience working and that they can be productive. And so we do just a little bit about how do you go about employee experience. It's a big undertaking. It can be a big change for for organizations. And we've we've but we have seen even some companies like HRbnb and others that now have chief chief employee experience officer. So it's become it's really elevated to the level of the C-suite for people that are for companies that are focused on this. And we'll continue to build best in breed and be more competitive because their employees are more engaged. And so, you know, the first thing similar to other designs is you just want to look at what are your goals? You know, you want to understand how to connect your employee experience goals to your business results. Because while the the HR is really more and more increasingly getting a seat at the table, it's still in many ways a cost center. And so you want to make sure that we look at how does that drive to business results that will allow for funding for these types of projects. And so it's looking at how do you build a business case and using metrics around retention and attracting talent that other companies have seen from that, as well as cost savings from the different whether that's reducing turnover or other components like that. You can really show the benefit and the business value of of an employee experience program. I think there's there's a big important part of mapping the employee journey. And so how do they come into your funnel? How do they work through your recruiting process? How do you onboard them, how do you train them, and then how do you support them while they're employees? And a big part of that can be technology and that you can enable a lot of tools, but you also have to look at how you support them from conversations they need to have. I think in the leave space, we we offer a lot of technology to allow employees to request leaves and understand leaves and do other things like that. But there's still a huge human component of having surgery or dealing with cancer or having a baby, and so making sure that employees have the tools. Certainly our younger generations do prefer to use technology, but there's also times where they need support and they have questions. And so making sure that you structure your teams and structure that service to be able to give them the information they need and allow them to self serve where it's possible, but then also to have somebody to escalate to or somebody to talk to, to answer the more complicated questions or just have them feel that and understand that you care about them as an employee and that you're you're you're there to help them. You know, the next step after mapping that journey is to really look at what's your approach. In a lot of cases, how can you automate processes, how can you, as I said before, give people the tools to self serve where that that's appropriate so that the resources that you have are able to focus on the employee? I think when, when we started AbsenceSoft, we focused very much on the leave team doing leave administration and the goal was to drive down process inefficiencies to automate those. I call it administrative, but the tasks and activities like calculating eligibility or sending out leave packets and make that easy and efficient and not time consuming really to free up the time for our HR resources and our leave teams to engage with those employees that were going out on leave. And so that's really evolved, particularly in the last three or four years, as people are really the last two and one half years as people have been going through and working remotely and in matrix environments into how do we provide tools for employees to be able to do things so that they feel supported, even though they're not maybe in an office, they can't talk to HR without outreach, and so giving them the tools to be able to do those things so that then when they do need help, that's when they're reaching out to to their HR team. And so there's a lot you could do to automate the routine tasks so you can spend more time engaging with with your employees and engaging with your managers and HR. Step four in this really is to implement technology. But it's not just technology, it's it's changing your processes that may be changing the way you structure your teams. And so you're able to address those those different components of the overall solution to or the overall process and and way that you're delivering employee experience to your employees and to your managers and your senior leadership. And then note no implementation is complete without measuring and evaluating. And this may be something you don't get perfectly right the first time, but there's it's really making sure that you're driving those results that you were expecting and then that you're making adjustments to those things as you as you go forward. So we are going to talk about leave technology just because that's my my passion and my background. But I do think there's a lot of similarities between what's going on in the world and across the board in the HR technology space. And so we're seeing more and more talk about HR tech and different solutions that can be deployed. The one size fits all. Do everything in your your HCM or system payroll systems has really somewhat slid by. And now there are so many different point solutions that are best in breed or purpose driven for specific functions and whether that's applicant tracking or performance management training, those types of things, there's tons of ways that you can address those, those different components of your overall employee experience and your your tech stack to be able to do those things better. And so I do I do want to drill down on leaving technology because and as you'll see at the bottom in recent surveys, we've really seen this as an increased priority, which is great for us as a as a company that provides this technology. But I just think as somebody that's spent so much time in the leave space, it's just great to see people finally focused on the fact that that this is important. And the pandemic drove so much of this in that all of a sudden senior leaders were trying to figure out where are my employees? And so they were asking their leave teams and their h.r. Teams that question. And so many people were doing this manually or in ways that it was it was tough to report. And so i think it raised the it raise the status or raise the awareness of how important people and leaves and understanding where your people are is to a senior level where we're seeing budgets open up in a way for for this kind of technology so that you can track and be more efficient. And the statistics are probably not surprising to you as as our leaders that have dealt with this. But during the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in leaves and accommodations, almost 300% with very little ability to adjust staff. And so those those clients or prospects that we were working with that that needed to be able to support that increase, we're able to do that by putting technology there to automate those routine tasks and really let them focus on the things that needed to happen. As we've looked at surveys over the last few months, as there was between a 29 and 40% increase in 2022 of leave requests, So that's still significant and still growing. And some of that has to do with the different state laws and other legislation that's been passed. But but it's also due to just employees are aware of the need for time off and are really feeling more stress. There's more need to deal with family members. People are still where everybody likes to say we've we've hit the pandemic, but we're still dealing with a lot of fallout and other things from those. And so we're seeing a huge increase continue in that employers are really expecting another significant increase in 2023. And so looking at how you put a solution in place to address these things is important. And so we always recommend that you start with what are the objectives? Are you looking to save administrative time and drive down, make your team more efficient? Are you looking to enable your employees to do some self serve and some other things on their own so that again, it will reduce your call volumes and make that more efficient, But it also improves that employee experience because they can do a lot of the fact finding on their own and then only come to you with those significant questions. And so again, defining your objectives and how you're hoping to achieve those, those things can help you then start to evaluate how you're going to address that leave program. And if you're going to use technology, if you're going to modify what you have or if you're going to bring in a dedicated system to support this, and then it's really evaluating how you can can achieve that solution and how you're going to be able to to support that. The third component of that then is doing an implementation. So you do have to work through that as part of an implementation. You're probably going to have changes to your process. You may restructure your teams a little bit so that you can focus more specifically on skill sets. But making sure you're putting the right, you know, it's all it all builds on itself from a people process and technology standpoint that you're putting the right things in place, that you're supporting your people with the right tools, but you're also supporting them with the right role definitions. And then there's again, the component of measuring. And so what are the metrics you're going to measure? What are the results? How do you consider that successful? And so make sure that as you implement those pieces that you're evaluating how well that worked and what what benefits you're getting out of that so that you can then report to your senior leadership the successes you have and the business impact that you're making by doing things more efficiently and by being more proactive and supportive of that that employee experience. And then the final piece, and this is, again, something that that's just something we hear so much from employers that is a huge challenge because while the vast perception is that the pandemic is over, there's still so many cases and hospitals are flooded not only with COVID, but also with similar symptoms and other things like that. And so it's something that is not going to go away anytime soon. And so in a more broad perspective, it's something we're just seeing our employers struggle with and ask for, for help with. But it's really thinking through how are you going to manage this? As I think in many cases, people that are impacted by COVID and along COVID are trying to get back to work. And so understanding how you can address this, manage that and work through the whole process is important. It's really seen, I think, a lot in your return to work and evaluating as people are coming back how how are they impacted by their bout of COVID and some people we don't see a ton of a ton of impact. Others have been are still significantly impaired. And so making sure that you're addressing that, that you're looking at the ways you can support that. And certainly there are still people impacted with with COVID that may need those leaves and paid leaves and other other components as they're sick and recovering. But we're just seeing a huge increase in the number of accommodations due to long COVID and the ability to to deal with the breaks. They may need the time to get treatment. And I think what's really complicating this and why employers are struggling with it is there are over 200 symptoms of long COVID. And so a lot of physicians and providers aren't able to, you know, they diagnosis specific symptom, but they don't see the bigger picture. And so as you start to see all of the things like fatigue and brain fog and respiratory types of problems, it's just helping to have those conversations with employees understand that, you know, that it might be a more serious condition and then making sure you're working with your employees to give them the appropriate accommodation, to give them the appropriate time to be able to recover completely as as they're coming back. So we ended a bit early. But we'll jump now to questions and please go ahead and answer those in your or enter those in the Q&A section of the webinar.
Mallory: [00:39:33:00] And hi, Seth. I have a few here for you. We can get started and if anyone else wants to add some, as Seth said, please type them on in. The first one here is can software track companies specific accommodations or personalize the leave experience?
Seth: [00:39:49:26] Yes. Yeah. Thank you, Mallory. Absolutely. I think that's that's a big component of leave technology, right? Is to be able to not only provide that compliance with the mandated laws, the federal, the state and other types of leaves. So you have to comply with those and work with those. But most of our clients have company defined medical leaves. They may have jury duty sabbaticals, personal types of leaves. And so being able to put those in place and track those both eligibility entitlement support, the you may have medical certifications or other type of paperwork requirements that you need to track as well as then monitoring that whole workflow process of when things are due back when you need to make approvals. The FMLA is very time intensive and specific about about certain requirements. And so making sure that you've got a way to track those reminders and do those those things is important. And similarly on accommodations, those can be much more open ended. And you know, accommodation is, is the same for everyone. But there are certain ones that we see a lot of our clients have like parking passes for people that need to be closer to the front door when they need to, when they have a broken leg or they have some sort of physical condition that makes it hard to walk, or things like standing desks or ergonomic mouse pads, chairs with back support to supports, physical conditions that may come on. And so being able to track each of those track costs associated with those and report on those as well as I think the most important part of any leave and accommodation software is to be able to track that interactive process which may be different based on the type of accommodation requested. And so being able to have those automated and make sure that you're really following what what you need to in order to be compliant with with the regulations and laws that that are out there.
Mallory: [00:41:47:00] Okay, that's awesome. And we have another one here, which you might have touched on, but. So would you say then that leave management software definitely helps with staying compliant?
Seth: [00:41:57:15] Yes. Yes. That's I think that's I call it table stakes, but it's probably the most important, most important part of what we provide to our clients, which is we have a full legal team. They monitor all the federal and state laws. They're making constant updates as those are passed so that our clients don't have to rely on internal legal counsel or Google to figure out what they need to do for each of those. And so it goes beyond, though, just knowing what's out there, which I think in many cases is maybe the hardest part. Sometimes the notification, the laws are changing or passed is you really have to be on top of that in the midst of the 300 other things you're doing in the day. And so having that backbone that does all of the monitoring and maintenance of the compliance is important. But then there's the actual usage of it and doing eligibility calculations, entitlement calculations, making sure that people meet the appropriate service or they meet the appropriate employment tenure, those those types of things, as well as then tracking the amount of time available to them because that varies widely amongst states as well as the FMLA. And so being able to make sure that you're both not you're both giving employees the leaves that they're entitled to and legally you're legally required to give them, but also then that you're tracking that time and keeping them can keep keeping them informed of when that that entitlement ending.
Mallory: [00:43:27:29] And someone else here is wondering if you have any tips on getting buy in for leave software.
Seth: [00:43:35:01] Yeah. That's great. Yeah. And I think, you know, this applies to all HR software. Right. But but specifically for for leave. Because we do a lot of business cases with with our clients. And so I think there's there's three components of it. One is just to look at what's what's the the savings you can achieve. And so in many cases that's just saving time by being more efficient in what you're doing. Leave is hard and you can make it a little bit easier by putting tools in place to automate some of those things, like eligibility determinations, calculations, sending out packets and all those communications pieces that go around it. I think the second is what type of results can you see? So can you, by being a little more actively engaged with those and those people that have using that time that you've saved, having more time to engage with employees, can you bring some of them back to work more quickly? Right, because you may be able to find an accommodation or you may be able to work with them in different ways that they could come back sooner. And every every study shows that the sooner somebody is back, the the better, because the longer that they're out, the more disengaged they become and from from the employer. And that it becomes harder and harder to get them to come back. And so we do encourage you you're able to engage with those people sooner and find ways to make that work. And then the final piece is it's newer in in measurement, but it's something that again, is to that topic of retention. And so being able to look at how having more robust programs, but also by managing them better and engaging people in that leave process can, can lead to that. And so we work through all of those different pieces to to make sure that as as our our clients are going to their senior leadership asking for money, that there's you're defining those and determining the business results of of what you're paying for.
Mallory: [00:45:37:02] Okay. And then we have another one here, a little bit more broad here. What other current leave or HR topics are you paying attention to?
Seth: [00:45:49:26] That's a great question, Mallory. I think you know, the one that that's really taken off in the last few years and continues to become improbably, it's getting to be as as as important as as fly and leave is accommodations. And so the ADA started and has had some evolutions, but it's just becoming more and more complex. And there's certainly a lot of both health conditions and coming out of the pandemic. But also then the we're finding that people are putting accommodations in to help return people more quickly. And so there's a lot of a lot more conversation about how do you manage that interactive process? How do you find a reasonable accommodation that can can can bring people back? Because if if the pandemic has told us anything is, as a lot of employers were unfortunately forced to lay people off and just keep the most critical employees. And then we went into an area of really tight labor market and great resignation where it was hard to find people. What what's really become apparent is what we all knew as HR people. But it's become an important to our our senior leaders. Is that how you keep an employee is equally important as to who's out there to bring in. And so we're just seeing a lot of people be more engaging and and finding more support organizationally for how they they bring people back with maybe with accommodations or that they recruit people that need accommodations. That might have been a hard no in the past. And so it's just a topic that we continue to talk a lot about, work with our clients on and and just think is critically important as as organizations grow. The other, I think, is it ties into the mental health topic that we talked about earlier, but just that total employee wellness and how do you look at an employee across the board and make sure that all of your programs that that you offer and all your benefits that you offer address the whole employee and not just their work? That's it's something that I think we've we've the the leave industry or at least the absence management industries talked about a lot and benefits industry and how do you roll these other programs out. But I do think that keeping people healthy helps with the mental aspects and then helps with them being productive. And so we're seeing more and more topics, more and more conversations about that. So that's that's a big one. I think the quiet quitting is obviously one that we read a lot about right now. And and so being able to address that and I think so much of that gets back to the conversation around engagement and employee experience. And how do you keep people focused, particularly as we're looking at hybrid work environments and other things like that. So those those are things we continue to hear a lot about and monitor as we talk with our clients about about different trends.
Mallory: [00:48:54:22] That's awesome. So thank you. Thank you so much. Those are all the questions that have come in. So I guess we'll end it here, Seth, if that's okay with you.
Seth: [00:49:03:23] That is fine.
Mallory: [00:49:04:24] All right. Well, thank you, Seth, you know, for sharing your insight and expertise with us. And thank you to everyone in the audience for joining us today. Just a reminder, don't forget to download the white papers in the handout section before you leave us. And a copy of the presentation is also there for you if you wish to download that as well. Finally, please keep an eye out for other upcoming webinars and enjoy the rest of your day.
Seth: [00:49:28:12] Thank you.