There are many clear examples of how an EAP benefits organizations across the nation. It’s inevitable that your employees will encounter a serious personal problem over the course of their time with your organization. It could be issues like financial strain, divorce or care-giving for an elderly parent. Sometimes it is easy for a manager to get pulled into the personal problem, but there are professionals who are trained to talk about these issues and ultimately, give employees a way to cope with the challenges that can have a negative impact on their job performance.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides your employees with access to trained counselors 24 hours a day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, employees that have access to wellness and employee assistance programs have the opportunity to pursue a healthier lifestyle. An EAP benefits organizations, employees, families, and communities by helping the employee to reduce stress, illness and time off work.
Here are Five EAP Benefits to Consider
1. Confidentiality: Your employees will undoubtedly appreciate that they have a resource they can use to discuss sensitive issues in complete confidence. If an employee is concerned about a marital issue that’s creating absences, for example, he or she does not have to worry about discussing a sensitive issue with their boss –the conversations and counseling are completely confidential and left up to the professionals. In turn, the employee feels more comfortable to openly discuss and ultimately handle the situation. EAP benefits provide an outlet to help them resolve these issues and learn to cope without negatively impacting job effectiveness.
2. Immediate Assistance: Employees have access to an EAP hotline 24 hours a day, with the ability to speak with a licensed counselor immediately on the phone, so there is no need to wait to seek assistance. Because the employee can call anytime, she does not have to worry about calling from a work phone. If an appointment with a medical professional or counselor is necessary, the employee can arrange to see one in just a few days. (Bonus: AllOne Health even offers medical advocacy services to help facilitate scheduling of appointments and navigating the complex waters of healthcare.)
3. Quicker Return to Work: Have you ever had an employee injured and out of the job for a few weeks? With EAP benefits, you can facilitate a quicker return to work after a leave of absence when the EAP counselors integrate with workers’ comp, medical, wellness and behavioral health to create a continuum of care for the employee to improve his condition for a speedier recovery.
4. Avoiding Escalation: We have all seen the buildup of stress escalate to negative or explosive situations. With the help of an EAP, employees are encouraged to seek help during the very early stages of a problem, which studies show prevent small issues from turning into something serious.
5. Affordable perks: As an employer in today’s marketplace, it’s critical that you work hard to keep top talent. As a result of implementing an Employee Assistance Program, you provide employees EAP benefits that your competitors may not offer. In addition, the use of an EAP will reduce healthcare costs and workman’s compensation claims. Less absences and lower employee turnover supports an employer’s bottom line, says Sherri Scott in Small Business.
Your organization may have free EAP benefits that are included in another product – such as disability insurance. But the return on investment with a free-standing, robust EAP is reflected in the well-being of the whole workplace.