HRO Today October 2019 - 40

D&I
Meeting All
Employees' Needs
A robust absence and disability management program can ensure even
nontraditional workers remain healthy and productive.
By Melissa Oliver-Janiak
Maintaining the flexibility that today's workers demand
comes with many challenges for employers. In particular
for HR, the competitive economy is putting more pressure
on organizations to be prepared when nontraditional
employees (remote and temporary workers) experience a
disability or absence issue. Developing a robust absence
and disability management program is a critical and costeffective
way to help organizations address all employees'
health needs.
Remote and other nontraditional workers present unique
challenges for HR managers when administering absence,
return-to-work, and disability programs. For example,
how can organizations handle an ergonomics issue when
an employee is using their own chair and desk? And, if an
employee misses work for an extended time, how can HR
return them to work when " work " is their home? Given
that Gallup reports 43 percent of employed Americans said
they spent at least some time working remotely, this is an
issue organizations can't afford to ignore.
Research suggests there's an unmet need for all partners
[40]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE
| OCTOBER 2019
who support employee health and productivity to work
more closely together. The Standard's Absence and
Disability Readiness Index found that just 38 percent
of HR managers surveyed felt ready to support the
needs of remote workers and only 16 percent felt
ready to address part-time employees and gig workers.
Without a comprehensive program to address complex
employee health needs-especially in light of changing
workplace trends and employee demands-companies
could be putting employee engagement, retention, and
productivity at risk.
Managing remote workers is just one type of challenge
that HR leaders say they don't feel prepared to handle in
the absence and disability space. The Standard's research
also found that just 27 percent of HR decision-makers felt
ready to accommodate family and elder care issues, while
25 percent felt ready to support employees' drug addiction
challenges.
Understanding and addressing these trends is important
for the health of both employees and the organizations

HRO Today October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today October 2019

HRO Today October 2019 - 1
HRO Today October 2019 - 2
HRO Today October 2019 - 3
HRO Today October 2019 - 4
HRO Today October 2019 - 5
HRO Today October 2019 - 6
HRO Today October 2019 - 7
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