You may be a specialized Leave of Absence (LOA) Manager, an HR Generalist managing leave amongst other HR functions, or a small business owner wearing many hats. No matter your role, you know that there are certain obligations you have as an employer for effectively managing the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state leave laws.The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) identifies that some of the biggest challenges for leave managers are interpreting the various levels of leave laws, and a lack of staffing resources to effectively manage absenteeism. Do either of these struggles feel familiar?
Though there are always going to be challenges involved in leave management, especially when there are time-sensitive deadlines for compliance, there are steps you can take, and qualities you can adopt, to ensure that you have what it takes to be an effective leave manager.
An Organized Approach
An organized leave manager is likely to be a more effective leave manager. There are simple things you can do, such as keeping an ongoing task list, or having weekly team meetings, that will get yourself, your team, and your leave management program organized!
For more tips on getting yourself and your leave management program organized, click here.
Compassion & Empathy
As we’ve discussed in the past, empathy is a crucial element to any leave management strategy. Taking an extra moment to give your employees the true human touch will really take your leave management program to the next level. Happy employees make for a happy leave management program!
A Drive To Learn & Network
A great way to ensure you have what it takes to be an effective leave manager is to network and learn from others in the field. There are industry trade shows that occur each year that make the perfect forums to accomplish this!
Having the opportunity to listen to industry leaders speak, interact with vendors and thought leaders, and attend workshops, are all crucial elements to staying informed about changes in leave management best-practices and laws.
Here are a few of the major trade shows happening in 2018 that we recommend you check out:
- Disability Management & Absence Management Professionals (DMEC) FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference
- Dates: April 30- May 3, 2018
- Location: Orlando, FL
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference & Exposition
- Dates: June 17-20, 2018
- Location: Chicago, IL
- DMEC Annual Conference
- Dates: August 6-9, 2018
- Location: Austin, TX
The Knowledge Of When To Ask For Help
Trying to be an expert in the various levels of leave legislation, without a legal background, can be an incredibly stressful burden. It’s also likely that you’re not doing the best job at meeting the legal requirements, since you probably wear multiple HR hats that keep you rushing from one thing to the next.
Take a load off by talking to a law firm or your legal counsel, and consider adopting a leave management solution. Leave Genius is a simple cloud-based web application that was designed with small and medium-sized employers in mind! The application helps employers make the right decision when faced with a leave request, by checking the request against a continuously updated database of more than 450 FMLA, state and municipal leave rules, and telling you what to do to be compliant. Just think of it as the ultimate sidekick to ensure you are an effective leave manager!
These are just a few tips to help you manage leave like a boss. Ultimately, you want to ensure that you’re remaining compliant with the FMLA, and that you’re treating your employees in a way that is fair and equitable.