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Prudential Launches Practical Solutions for Disability Clients

Posted on 21 Aug 11

Prudential has developed an innovative online tool for disability insurance clients. Absence & Productivity: Practical Solutions for Managers is designed to help employers manage their benefits costs through enhanced worker productivity and effective return-to-work strategies.

Absence & Productivity: Practical Solutions for Managers contains two components: a Manager’s Kit for front-line managers, and an off-the-shelf program for training facilitators designed to reinforce key concepts in a hands-on workshop. The program helps empower managers to improve performance, prevent some disability absences, and manage absences that do occur.

Terrie Sorensen, vice president of Absence and Disability Product Management and Innovation for Prudential’s Group Insurance business, explains, “Clients have told us that our new program is an ideal solution to help educate managers, giving them the opportunity to communicate their leave policies and available accommodations for return-to-work.”

The development of the program was informed by Prudential’s ongoing research of the employee benefits market. Sorensen notes, “According to Prudential’s Fifth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond, 49% of employers cite increasing employee productivity as a top benefits objective. Yet, managing an employee through a disability absence and a return to work—along with maintaining workplace productivity—can be a challenge.”

Prudential’s research also reveals that return-to-work initiatives have been successful in generating cost savings as well as productivity gains. Regarding such strategies, 62% of respondents are “using some” or “using to a great extent,” and 66% report being “highly successful” in achieving desired cost savings with their return-to-work strategies.

The program helps managers learn how to balance short-term pressures with the long-term good of the employee, the work team and the company. Employers can easily distribute the Manager’s Kit material to front-line managers via their own websites or they can email the material. The Management Training Program includes all of the tools that a

Human Resources or training professional needs to conduct meaningful sessions. It provides a trainer’s guide and two presentation options, giving trainers the flexibility to deliver a workshop with group exercises, or a shorter version without.

“At the heart of our program, we emphasize how managers make a difference in employees’ lives and in their perceptions of the work environment. It’s the human-to-human connection that really improves the return-to-work experience overall,” concludes Sorensen.

Prudential Financial, Inc., a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services.