How HR Automation Fosters Empathy for Absent Colleagues

Extended staff absences don't have to be 'out of sight, out of mind' when you use the right tools to trigger thoughtful engagement.

Rebecca Grainger, CEO & Founder

How HR Automation Fosters Empathy for Absent Colleagues

How does your to-do list look today? If it's anything like mine, it's probably a little overwhelming. Now give a quick thought to what's missing from that list. Or maybe 'who' is missing?

'Today' is almost never the day when people think they must put a simple, personal check-in with staff who are on leave at the top of the list. 'Today' is rarely the day to prioritise digging into the policy drawer to remember which staff member is on extended leave or in a career transition and needs a follow up on how things are going.

But to the person on leave? Today might be the day they really need to hear from you.

When I explain that triiyo offers automated systems to improve how a workplace connects and communicates with team members during a period of time off, like parental leave, there can be some surprise that such a toolset can improve human connection within a workplace. So, can automation really increase empathy at work? If you are in the service of putting people at the top of that to-do list when it matters most, absolutely.

Too many people have a bad experience while they are on leave, but few workplaces cause such a situation with any intent. The tide of a manager's attention always flows toward today's biggest concerns, and 'out of sight, out of mind' is an even bigger reality in a world of remote work.

But best intentions do not prevent real harm. If we just look at parental leave, one in two women and one in four men experience pregnancy-related discrimination. Again, no company or manager wants to be that statistic, but managers are often maxed out on day-to-day responsibilities and are not supported or trained to foresee the needs of absent colleagues in the midst of everything else on their plate.

What's more, a parental leave process from start to finish can take place over a two and a half year cycle. Legislation moves, company policies change, and a manager's team structure can be altered, moving an absent team member from one reporting line into another. With so many moving parts, it's all too simple for someone to feel forgotten.

But what about an automated nudge that tells a manager that it's time to check in, or that you need to have a meeting? Real human support can then get the timely assistance it needs to be there at just the right moment.

The key to triiyo's success is in setting up the right rules and structures for the business. We offer a best practice blueprint, pre-populated with appropriate legislated requirements, underpinned by company policy and personalised outreach. In addition to practical reminders, there is useful content on our Resource Hub creating a truly employee-led experiential journey...

Employees are in control, choosing how much or how little contact they have during their leave period. And if their situation changes, the automations can be readjusted to suit new timelines and new scenarios to accommodate each person.

Our Journeys support the employee and their manager, meaning every manager gets the assistance they need to care for their absent team members, and every employee gets the advice and support they want from the business. Everyone gets what they need, when they need it.

We also include access to a Work Buddy system, designed to be the social glue that keeps people connected whilst they’re out of the office with regular check ins... What's going on? Has anyone left? What happened at the Christmas party? Making that social component part of checking in is a key factor in employee engagement and belonging.

The fabric of the workplace is a big part of the colour and texture of our lives. Whether it's becoming a parent, retiring, struggling with mental health, or taking time off to care for a sick loved one, these are major transitions in life. Layer onto that the loss of our work family and you can see how complex, isolating and challenging these life events can be.

This can be a big part of why a business can lose great staff. These transitions cause an upheaval in the very core of our identity. We don't want to feel like we've fallen off a cliff and lost all our professional and personal connections at work at the same time. If you've been nurtured by your employer through this journey, then your perception of the business, and your engagement and productivity on returning to work will be very different to somebody who just felt like they'd been left on their own.

Results to date for triiyo supported businesses suggest we're doing something right. Teams we've worked with have seen greater retention of talent through the parental leave journey at a time when talent is in short supply. By taking the pressure off HR staff and managers to manually recall what each employee needs, triiyo is proving that well crafted HR automation is the ideal support for these deeply impactful life moments.

Connect with us at for any queries or to book a demo.

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