Get the Most Out of Your Disability Program

Posted by: 
Kelly Anderson

In today’s hectic world full of hard deadlines, quick turnarounds and the ever-present desire for a work-life balance, certain things tend to be put on the back burner. For some HR managers, it’s a lunch break. For others, it could be staying up to date on something that often occurs behind the scenes, such as their disability program.

Most employers have disability insurance, but some don’t use it to its fullest advantage. In fact, your company may have even gotten too comfortable with its program, or maybe you’re in need of a benefits tune-up and you don’t even realize it. To avoid these issues and their potential ramifications, here are three key aspects to ensure your organization is getting the most out of its disability program:

  1. Get key stakeholders on the same page. Right from the start, everyone in your organization who could be involved with your program should be familiar with it. This includes executives or senior management, and representatives from facilities services and workers’ compensation or even vendors from your company’s health insurance, employee assistance and disease management programs. That familiarity can streamline the resolution process if a situation arises and the program is needed. If only a few people — or none — know what to do when an employee needs assistance, your disability program may not be used effectively during a time when it’s needed most.
  2. Keep talking about it. Even after implementation, it’s important to keep your disability program top of mind. Some organizations, especially large ones, don’t communicate as much as they should about their program and what it can do. This can be a problem. When an employee doesn’t remember the resources they have, they tend to not use them. Conversely, when benefits are fresh in an employee’s mind they take greater advantage of them.
  3. Keep everyone up to speed. If it’s been a while since you implemented your program, you may want to consider an internal update. Things change — managers and executives leave, new ones arrive, and information can get scrambled or lost in the process. Before you know it, your office is no longer connected to its program. Sending updates every so often, or having follow-up meetings to discuss the program and its successes, ensures that everyone has a clear and continual understanding of what the program can do.

If you keep these three aspects in mind when it comes to your disability program you won’t get too comfortable with it. There are a lot of untapped resources, and following these three pointers puts you on the path toward full use of your program.