The Value of an Employee Assistance Program

Anxiety, depression, and stress are not something we should let bypass us. On the contrary, it should greatly concern us, especially when our employees are undergoing these issues. 

Depression within the workplace can lead to several more issues that we may never be aware of, such as lack of productivity, more ‘sick’ days, and an increase in excuses. 

Nevertheless, EAP is here to solve that problem, and you may be wondering how? Well, in this article, we will identify the value of how much an EAP can help employees in the workplace. 

Let’s dive right in!

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How does an employee assistance program (EAP) work? 

Before you set up an employee assistance program, you must identify how it works. Many things within the program protect EAP employees. One of their main benefits is having access to a bunch of resources and counselors. Moreover, with the EAP, employees can comfortably discuss all of the most common issues they face at the workplace and try to receive support in the areas that matter the most to them.

Whenever employees join the program, during the first assessment phase, they’ll need to show how their current situation is. So how do they do that? Well, employees can receive help through the following topics: 

  • Mental health status: Regarding depression and anxiety, employees can discuss their type of mental health depression. 
  • Legal & financial advice: Includes how to deal with debt, and counseling classes regarding your marriage, family issues, and much more. 
  • Drug addiction: Includes advice on dealing with drug addiction issues or even helping people that may have it in your family. 
  • Work conflicts: Advice on how to deal with conflict inside the workplace. 
  • Gambling addictions: Support and advice on how to help you avoid gambling addictions or any other related issues. 
  • Issues at the workplace: Includes workplace burnout, high-stress levels, or anything else. 

Why are EAPs so important? 

Why are EAPs so important? 

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Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are essential for helping employees resolve the emotional issues they may undergo at the workplace. Through regular consultation hours, employees are allowed to express their concerns and can work them out with experts. Employees will feel much better trying to overcome issues in their life whenever they engage in consistent work engagement. 

Here are areas where EAP has been most successful: 

  • Financial assistance 
  • Improving workplace interactions 
  • Improving overall performance 
  • Helping people deal with health issues 
  • Assistance in fighting abuse, especially in the cases of children and more

What are the benefits of having an EAP? 

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It helps increase employee productivity 

If your employees are mentally and physically healthy, there’s nothing better that can happen. Whenever employees are healthy, they have the opportunity to become more engaged in the workplace, resulting in better work performance. 

According to a study from stress.org, only 6% of employees claimed that they aren’t stressed at the workplace. This is something to be concerned about and directly impacts the productivity rate of employees. 

Decreases absenteeism rates 

Employees who feel demotivated will most likely try to run away from the workplace. Thus, when people try to run away, they’ll try to find excuses for not coming to work. According to a study, EAPs are one of the most effective ways of preventing absenteeism. In addition, healthy employees will take fewer days off and try to improve retention rates. 

Maintaining high retention rates is important for concluding. After all, you might have excellent employees and don’t want to lose them. It’s much more difficult to replace a good employee than one easily replaceable. Above all, you may see more employees arriving on time since they don’t have to face any mental issues daily. 

Improves employee retention

EAPs are excellent in supporting the health and well-being of employees so that they can shift their focus toward work. Thus, employees can focus more and be more satisfied with their current jobs, which as a result, will mean that employee retention rates will increase. But, of course, it’s impossible to replace an employee who comes to work all happy and ready to be as productive as ever. According to a study conducted by Forbes, they claim that loyal employees aren’t replaceable!

Improves the safety of employees 

An injury can lead to a lack of productivity or employees missing more work days. These injuries might include anything from physical to mental. Maybe it might be an accident or even repetitive stress. Of course, you can’t prevent accidents, but the EAP ensures that your employees are protected from mental harm, which puts them in a better position at the workplace. 

It saves time and money 

When employee safety increases, the number of injuries and mental health issues go down. EAPs can also help reduce labor issues, health insurance, and disability claims. This doesn’t only save you money, but it also saves a significant amount of time

What are the requirements for an EAP? 

Employee training 

Whenever you set up an EAP, you need to ensure that your staff is trained on your program’s policies, including the procedures for following up with employees using it. The training needs to claim how employers can recognize issues when directing employees to the EAP. As employees’ needs evolve, they need to ensure that they maintain and upgrade their skills in compliance with the EAP. 

Data reporting 

Data reporting offers employers essential information about the program, such as the number of employees using the program and more. In addition, customized data reporting can track patterns and trends in usage. Thus, the data on these reports remains confidential. 

24/7 support 

EAPs should be able to offer 24/7 support. Otherwise, it won’t be considered an EAP. So, employers need to ensure that they make this feature available. 

Regulatory compliance 

The EAPs standard service is mental health, so employers must ensure legal and regulatory compliance. Therefore, as part of this training, understanding the legal concerns of mental health is essential. Moreover, employers must realize all legal considerations of an EAP to ensure compliance protocols. 

Policy development 

During the creation of EAP, there should always be a policy outlining the entire program’s intentions, such as voluntary assistance to employees. In other words, you can think of this policy as a mission statement connected to the EAP. 

The limitations of service policies 

The best recommendations every business should comply with are that the EAP should have a written policy that covers the program’s relationship with the organization and the service limitations. This policy aims to get parties on the same side and shows how the program should work and be used. 

How can you offer EAP to your employees? 

There are three different methods of offering EAP. Here they are: 

  • In-house: In-house EAP is mostly for qualified employees who might feel nervous when asking for help or worry about the information they gather in order to feel confident. Thus, an EAP professional must provide each qualified employee with enough referral resources. In-house services may sometimes seem scary for employees who don’t feel comfortable asking for help or don’t feel secure in sharing their information. 
  • Blended: A blended EAP will allow employees to seek in-house assistance by using a free phone number and more. However, keep in mind that it’s best to avoid using a blended EAP if you are a small business and don’t have enough resources. 
  • Outsourced: Employees can access outsourced EAP by using a toll-free phone number. EAP professionals answer all the incoming calls and will ask employees a few questions to see if they are legit or not. Moreover, after you identify that they are legit, you can try to see what the employee is looking for and provide them with the required resources. 

Wrapping everything up 

That’s about it for this article. This is the value of an EAP. Furthermore, having one is definitely not a bad idea because, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than your employee’s mental health. Therefore, EAPs focus on that and try to improve employees’ overall mental health and other issues. 

As we mentioned, there are different types of EAP, so you must identify which one best suits your business. The business world can become a better place if we try to make it, and EAPS is one of the first steps. Therefore, it’s your chance to take the first step and act, to ensure that you make your workplace the ideal one! 

 

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