Top 10 Fortune Ranked Company Improves Leave Management and Develops a Return to Work Program

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Client:
National online retailer

Situation:

This national online retailer rapidly grew, from less than 20,000 US employees to more than 100,000 in just five years. With their exponential growth came challenges in maintaining their in-house leave management program, which was running on an internal database that could not meet the demands of users.

Challenge:

The client was significantly out of compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). They had roughly 6,000 leaves that were backlogged due to an internal system that could not handle the volume.

The client realized it had two options that would be comprehensive and flexible enough to meet their needs: either expand their current leave team and purchase a new system to support leave administration for a co-sourced solution, or outsource its leave program to a vendor that would best fit their technology-focused, fast-paced culture.

In addition to the leave management administration challenges, they also had no formal return to work infrastructure or process for non-occupational disabilities, which is critical to a growing company that needs to get employees back to work as rapidly as possible to continue on its growth trajectory.  Concurrent with the vendor selection process, we were asked to also assist them in revamping their return to work programs, and finding one consistent approach for both occupational and non-occupational absences.

Approach:

Pacific Resources was asked to participate in an RFP for consulting work, and despite competing against much larger consulting houses, we were selected because of our deep knowledge in Absence Management and our ongoing service model.

Our role was two-fold: To assist them in identifying a solution for leave management administration and to help them develop a robust return to work program. Specifically, we developed a customized project scope that included:

  • Mapping current leaves and varied company processes for leave administration
  • Conducting an assessment of their current staffing model
  • Identifying critical vendor deliverables
  • Providing financial analysis to compare the cost of outsourcing vs. insourcing vs. co-sourcing
  • Working with the client to develop and release the RFP, conduct finalist meetings and vendor selection
  • Conducting on-site interviews at the home office and production facilities around the country to map and assess current return to work practices
  • Developing a model for a combined occ and non-occ return to work program
  • Assistance with developing the business case white paper to propose all solutions to Senior Management
  • Developing a pilot return to work program to be run in two facilities first, before the broader launch

Once the return to work program was developed and ready to launch, the client took over the program implementation. Initially, the client was also planning to run their own implementation process with the selected leave vendor, using their own internal project management team.  However, as the complexity of the project became clear, the client asked us to remain involved in leading them through the implementation process.

Outcome:

The analysis Pacific Resources provided helped the client make the decision to fully outsource their leave management program to a third party administrator.

As a result, the client was able to:

  • Eliminate its significant leave backlog
  • Bring its program into compliance
  • Improve tracking and reporting
  • Enhance the employee experience
  • Make improvements in the coordination between the disability and leave programs
  • Improve Return to Work initiatives through one consistent, company-wide program
  • Experience significant staff reduction (over 15 FTEs)

Based on our on-going service model, the work with this client continues. Their continued rapid pace of growth coupled with a focus on the associate experience requires continuous improvement.  The client has also asked us to assist them in revamping their maternity leave process as well as benchmarking parental leaves at their competitors.