on-ramping Archives - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Action Step –
Easing the Transition
From Leave to Work, Part 2

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

In Part I of this Action Step, we discussed recent developments in on-ramping policies, including full-time pay for professionals working a temporary, reduced hours schedule after returning from a leave of absence. In this second part, we explore resources organizations need to establish to support a smooth on-ramping process, including what needs to take place before a leave of absence starts.

Mobilize Your Flex Management Team: Establishing a point person to manage the on-ramping process is an important first step to implementing a successful gradual return to work from leave policy. This coordinating role is typically fulfilled by a flex program manager or a human resources professional who handles the organization’s flex and leave policies. The on-ramping coordinator should be easy to identify and be listed wherever an organization houses details about the types of leaves of absence that would trigger an on-ramping schedule. This role should be responsible for contacting professionals before they go on leave, just before returning, and again upon returning to work to discuss processes and available resources. The on-ramping coordinator should also track on-ramping usage and monitor experiences of on-ramping professionals to provide a basis for celebrating the program’s success and/or making improvements.

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Action Step –
Easing the Transition
From Leave to Work, Part 1

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

On-ramping policies, also known as gradual return to work from leave policies, continue to serve as a low-cost, high-value bridge between leaves of absence and flexible work. They are simple to implement, effective as a pilot for reduced hours work arrangements, and have a positive impact on retention at a pivotal time in the careers of many professionals. Our Action Step, Tips for Starting an On-Ramping Policy describes how organizations can reap these and other benefits of on-ramping with a well-designed policy. Here, the Alliance builds on these tips to share recent developments and additional best practices in on-ramping in this two-part Action Step series.

As evidence of the value of on-ramping, a growing number of law firms, for example — including some Alliance members — have bolstered their policies to provide full-time pay to individuals on a temporary reduced hours schedule upon return from leave. In addition to a desire to increase on-ramping’s retention benefits, these firms recognize there is a natural ramp-up period when professionals return from an extended leave of absence, and historically, professionals have been paid full-time during that period in the absence of on-ramping policies…

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