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by Clare Morin
HR Trends

Developing an employee-centric leave program


Today’s workforce is faced with extraordinary challenges in balancing work and family obligations. Women in particular are exiting the workforce in unprecedented numbers during the pandemic to care for children and elderly family members. In this episode, the international leave and absence expert, Anna Steffeney, discusses why the employee experience is critical to leave and absence planning, why deliberate strategies are necessary for both leave and employee reintegration, and the critical need for accessible information for employees considering leave.

  • HR departments need the tools to make information easily accessible for employees to make educated leave decisions. (4:00)
  • There are operational considerations for employee support in a leave program, such as what is offered, how long, who is covered, and most importantly, how the programs are implemented, including expanding your existing program or launching a new one. (5:18)
  • Employers should be deliberate in measuring the ROI of their leave offerings—including benchmarking against competitors, surveying candidates and publicizing policies—to determine how their leave strategy comes into play around the retention of current employees and the attraction of new talent. (7:14)
  •  Lengthening parental leave has a positive effect on employee retention. A global study by KPMG, commissioned by Vodafone, showed that implementing a 16-week policy could save employers $19 billion globally by avoiding the hiring and training expenses necessary to replace employees who leave. (9:10)
  • Life events change employees and returning to work can be a jarring experience. It’s critical for employers to be deliberate in planning for leave and embracing returning employees. (11:25)

Featured speaker

Anna Steffeney
Vice President, Digital Ventures & Transformation, Leave & Absence, Unum

As part of Unum's Digital Ventures and Transformation team, Anna is primarily responsible for incubating and scaling new digital solutions for leave and absence management. She has a focus on co-creating strategy and reimagining digital leave and absence experiences. As founder and President of LeaveLogic, Anna has led the company from initiation to funding, and successful acquisition. Anna is recognized as a thought leader in parental leave policies and solutions and has been profiled by television and print media. 


Episode 23

by Clare Morin