An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a “voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.” They address many problems over a broad range of employee issues such as mental and emotional health, substance and alcohol abuse, stress, grief, etc.
Many people can not get away with living life problem-free, therefore having these programs is beneficial to your employees in order to cope with issues that will otherwise have a negative impact on their personal and work life. With EAPs employees have 24-hour access to trained counselors as well as an in-person meeting if needed. There are many other benefits to having EAPs available to your employees but listed here are the 5 most important benefits.
Employee confidentiality is a very important thing to be promising in your company or organization. Employees will appreciate and will be more likely to reach out for assistance if they know that their information is not being discussed or shared. With EAP, employers are not notified when employees use the service, therefore employees know they are reaching out in complete confidence.
The sense of immediacy that comes along with providing employees with EAPs is greatly beneficial. Having that 24-hour phone assistance with professionals allows people with sensitive issues to reach out for help whenever needed and get an immediate response. This also keeps employees from having to call during work. If a further meeting with a medical professional or counselor is needed, employees can expect to get one in just a few days.
Avoiding Larger Problems
When people are dealing with personal problems the stress of everyday work will only add to their issues. This may lead to problems with other employees and sometimes, unfortunately, can lead to a violent situation. The establishment of Employee Assistance Programs enables employees to reach out in early stages of their problems and ultimately prevents the escalation of these types of negative work situations.
An EAP can also help employees when dealing with issues outside of their workplace. Although the program is provided by employment, people can be comfortable with reaching out for personal issues as well. Personal issues can impact job performance just as strong as workplace issues. An EAP provides that outlet for them to resolve issues (or at least lets them learn how to cope) such as substance abuse, depression, marital strife and grief over the loss of a loved one.
Benefits for Employers
An Employee Assistance Program can also benefit the employer. The ability for employees to have access to this type of resource can rectify a potential problem which otherwise could have affected the workplace. An EAP can reduce absenteeism or even turnover which allows employers to keep a happy, more productive workplace. From a financial standpoint, employers which offer EAPs may even be able to minimize the cost of their health insurance plan. Since employees can use the EAP as a way to ward off stress-related illnesses, meaning fewer trips to the doctor.