An Employer’s Guide to the Technology Solution Galaxy
By Teri Weber, ACI, PMP, SVP, Spring Consulting Group; Karen English, CPCU, ARM, SVP, Spring Consulting Group
Employers are laser-focused on increasing efficiency and employee engagement. Technology can help achieve these goals by creating streamlined processes for leaves of absence, making pertinent information more readily available and digestible for employees, enabling the integration of data and processes, addressing behavioral health issues, and enhancing productivity tracking and reporting. While employers will prioritize solutions by the challenges they face with absence management, it’s helpful to establish a set of criteria to weigh the possibilities and track return on investment.
The technology landscape pertaining to disability and absence management continues to evolve, with several capabilities and tools that can be used as stand-alone or embedded solutions. Starting with the process employees use to make initial leave requests, most insurance companies, third-party administrators (TPAs), and software as a service (SaaS) solutions include a self-service portal to collect and view key claim details. More than 80% of these solutions use email to remind or alert employees about next steps, almost 40% use text messaging, and some are developing ongoing chat capabilities.1 The ability to upload medical documentation and view communications is common, and while regular mail and phone conversations are still preferred by some employees, online interaction has become an employer requirement to increase engagement in the absence process.
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