The Personal Touch: Use Technology to Support It
By William Frystak, CLMS
Disability Case Manager
By Jeffery Nelson, CDMS
Employee Health and
The lure to automate all aspects of leave management can be enticing. Laws are becoming more complex, businesses are offering multiple types of leaves, and the number of employees utilizing leaves continues to grow. Integrating a leave management technology to sort out the complexities seems like a no-brainer. But amid increased high-tech processes, employers must not forget to stay high-touch when needed — especially during essential one-on-one communication such as the interactive accommodation process.
Global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has an insourced disability management (DM) team responsible for administering medical leaves for our approximately 15,000 employees based in the United States and Puerto Rico. Just as our mission is to help our patients do more, feel better, and live longer, GSK believes in assisting our employees to do the same. GSK previously used its own internally created occupational/case management software. Today, we use a combination of vendor-created occupational software and a human resources information system (HRIS) to help with both occupational and nonoccupational leave and case management responsibilities.
But technology cannot do it all. Things that the most sophisticated technology cannot identify, such as employee relations or performance issues, require human-to-human interaction to reassure an employee that the company has a stake in their healthy return to work. And the personal touch from our internal DM leave managers ensures a safe, timely, and productive return to work (RTW).
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