Integrated Absence Management: Innovative Leaves

DMEC Staff@Work

Innovative Leaves for an Evolving Workforce

Innovative Leave ProgramsBy Glenn Pransky, MD

Scientific Advisor
Lincoln Financial Group

By Kristin Hostetter

Sr. Prod. Mgr., Absence Mgmt.
Lincoln Financial Group

Profound changes are occurring in workers’ needs and expectations. Employers who respond by adapting their leave programs to meet these demands have a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining high-performing employees.

Employment has shifted from manufacturing to services, and 20% of all U.S. employees work remotely at least part time.1 More workers have multiple jobs. Many U.S. workers have regular freelance work to make ends meet. This evolution challenges traditional leave programs, which are structured around having one job and being physically present in the workplace.

From 2000 to 2017, the U.S. economy had a net increase of 17 million workers and virtually all of that growth appeared in workers over age 55.2 Older workers have more chronic illnesses and require more doctors’ visits, work absences, and accommodations such as part-time and flexible schedules. The younger workforce is changing, too. Both parents work full time in 46% of two-parent households, 50% more than in 1970.3 As a result, caring for a sick family member, child or parent, is more likely to result in the caregiver missing work.

Good hires are hard to find, and they are more likely than ever to leave your organization.4 The demand for flexibility — for health issues, to manage a two-earner household, or to enjoy leisure time — is now more important than higher wages for half of potential job changers of all ages.1

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