Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) include a variety of employee wellness strategies. An EAP often includes counseling, training, advice and policies designed to support employees and help them develop a successful work-life balance. They provide support to resolve challenges that may have a negative impact on work, even if the problems are personal and not caused by workplace issues.
As employers seek innovative ways to recruit and retain employees, an increasing number are turning to EAPs for a value-added benefit. An EAP provides confidential support for employees, answers questions and makes suggestions about resources, and offers insight into a variety of home-life-work concerns. Most programs offer unlimited phone consultations and one-on-one sessions with a counselor for each employee. Worth noting is the fact that the employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from EAPs. Many advantages are also afforded to employers. Here are some reasons why companies are turning to this system of support.
EAP Reduces Financial Expenditures
Employers who invest in an Employee Assistance Program reap numerous financial benefits. These include:
• Reduced absenteeism: Employees who access EAP services report 52 percent fewer absences than those who do not use such services
• Reduced health care expenses
• Reduced employee turnover and associated costs
• Facilitating a quicker return to work after extended absences
• Increase in early detection and care strategies for illnesses and injuries
• Reduced incidences of workplace accidents
EAP Increases Investment in Employees
While it’s easy to find replacement employees in most circumstances, it isn’t always easy to find high-quality replacements. Employers who recognize this fact and invest in their employees find themselves in much less turmoil than businesses who perceive employees as expendable. Some benefits of employee investment include:
• Retaining your best employees
• Encouraging employee buy-in and increased engagement in the company
• Developing employee and supervisor competencies by building skills around maintaining work-life balance, managing workplace stress, and cooperative work
• Forming short-term problem resolution services.
EAPs Thwart Many Workplace Business Risks
As a business owner or employer, you face substantial risk. An effective EAP program helps circumvent these risks by:
• Reducing the incidence of workplace violence, harassment or other safety concerns
• Preparing for emergency situations and minimizing disruptions after a crisis occurs
• Mitigating the impact of disruptive workplace situations, including violence, disasters, death or other catastrophic scenarios
• Lessening the likelihood of legal proceedings or liability by promoting effective workplace practices
• Helping employees adjust to shifts in personnel, policy and protocol or other workplace changes such as layoffs
The impact of EAPs depends largely on several factors: the method of implementation; the awareness and promotion of the program; manager buy-in; and employee culture. While different EAPs offer varying services, most provide psychological support, referrals to services, financial counseling, elder care assistance, and substance abuse services.
For more than 30 years, EAN has been a provider of employee assistance programs, managed behavioral health care services and workplace-related consultation, training and education programs.
If you or your organization are interested in implementing an EAP program, or if you’d like to know more about the services we offer, contact us today.