Improving Employee Leave Experience in 2024

This infographic outlines suggestions to improve the employee experience before, during and after leave.

March 25, 2024

According to Business Group on Health’s 2024 Employer Leave Strategy and Transformation Survey, 73% of surveyed employers indicated that the employee experience with the leave process is a significant challenge at their company. Implementing changes to improve the employee leave experience was the most common change for 2023 noted in the survey (33% of employers). When making such critical changes, employers are encouraged to take a holistic approach when determining which strategies are working well and where improvements can be made.

The following table outlines opportunities to consider for improving the employee experience before, during and after leave. These suggestions are based on the experiences of employers on the Business Group’s Leave Optimization Forum.



Person standing with flag

Lead by Example

When it comes to internal staff, leaders, administrators and employees can do their part to encourage the use of leave and enhance the experience across each organization.


Before Leave 

Exemplify ideal leave practices as a role model (e.g., taking parental leave) for other employees to follow

Get buy-in from leaders to facilitate daily workflow enhancements and benefits

During Leave 

Promote positive mental health by minimizing connections to work while on leave; all employees can take measures such as avoiding checking email or logging on for assignments while taking time off

After Leave 

Collect data on the leave experience, usage patterns or employee feedback to help make the case for improvement to leadership


Establish Clear Communication

Simplifying employee communications on leave with clarity in mind will reduce frustration and confusion among employees taking leave.

Offer clear, streamlined information and resources that are easily accessible to employees and their families

Confirm employee preferences ahead of time for communication during their leave about essential leave-related or return-to-work issues

Clarify workflow for projects when an employee is out on leave, such as potentially offering stretch assignments, redistributing work among the team or organizing rotations for coverage

Assist in employee’s reentry after an extended leave by offering flexibility (e.g., phase-in hours, remote work, linking to additional benefits resources such as EAP or other work/life services)

Singular cog with 3 lines leading to three backpacks 

Diversify Resources

Using a variety of tools and resources for additional support is a great way to create a wellrounded leave experience.

Collaborate with employee resource groups to reduce stigma associated with taking PTO

Use employee assistance programs and increase employee awareness of their services

Pair employees with “compassion concierges” who can act as a benefits liaison, facilitate the paperwork process or provide similar HR/internal benefit support services to the employee and their family as needed

Leverage technology to track and improve the leave experience

Implement a white-glove, high-touch model that uses both technological and humancentered tactics to ease the transition for employees returning to work

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Improving Employee Leave Experience in 2024