Reducing the Hidden Cost of Confusing Parental Leave Policies and Benefits

Binders full of policy and benefit information.
How much time do your employees spend trying to figure out parental leave policies and benefits?

At Soutiens, we applaud all the changes companies are making to create family-friendly cultures. As companies grow and adjust parental leave policies, it’s important to keep employees up-to-date on the latest policy and benefit information. But historically this type of information has been hard to navigate. Deciphering leave policies and benefits can be confusing and time-consuming. In fact, research by LeaveLogic, a leave and benefits strategy company, found that employees spend upwards of 43 hours researching and applying for leave and benefits (1). That is a significant amount of time - and employees are either using valuable work hours to do the research, or are spending night after night grappling with confusing information. In one scenario, the business loses productivity hours; in the other, the employee builds resentment. Neither is an effective approach.

What is the solution?

At a recent workshop for expectant parents at a Boston-area healthcare solutions company, we presented and facilitated a two-pronged approach. First, Human Resource representatives outlined parental leave policies and benefits, highlighting the important steps employees needed to take and timelines to meet to ensure their claims and applications would be properly handled - the biggest challenges in navigating benefits (2). This conversation ensured all employees were working with the most accurate information. Second, experienced second-time parents shared their stories of navigating leave policies and benefits, thus connecting the emotionless benefits with real-life stories filled with practical tips and advice.

The result? Participants reported a 25% increase in their basic understanding of policies and available benefits, and nearly a 50% increase in the understanding of the benefit application process, all accomplished in under an hour. Leave policies and benefits can be confusing, but leaving employees to navigate the system on their own is a potential time waste. At Soutiens we’re reducing that waste, connecting resources and helping build workplace-based community. That’s a win for businesses and employees alike.

(1) New Parents Spend 43 Hours Trying To Navigate Parental Leave Options - Here’s How To Fix It, Sarah Kathleen Peck, Forbes Editor’s Pick, Aug. 7, 2018 (2) How to Build a Winning Benefits Program: In Conversation with Rachel Lyubovitzky, HR Technologist, Aug. 23, 2018