Employee Assistance Programs include a variety of employee wellness strategies. EAP programs often include counseling, training, advice and policies designed to support employees and develop a successful work-life balance. They offer help to resolve challenges that impact work, though the problems don't have to be caused by workplace issues.
As employers seek innovative ways to recruit and retain employees, an increasing number are turning to EAPs for a value-add benefit. Simply put, 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 several one-on-one sessions with a counselor for each employee.
Worth noting, it isn't only the employees who benefit from EAPs. There are also many advantages 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;
- Lessening employee turnover and associated costs;
- Facilitating a quicker return to work after extended absences;
- Increases 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 easy to find high-quality replacements. Employers who recognize this and invest in their employees find themselves in much less turmoil than businesses who perceive employees as expendable. Such benefits of employee investment include:
- Retaining good employees;
- Encouraging employee buy-in and 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 Workplace Business Risks
As a business owner or employer, there are substantial risks. 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 emergencies occur;
- Mitigating the impact of disruptive workplace situations, including violence, disasters, death or other crisis 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.
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.
If you or your organization are interested in implementing an EAP program, or if you'd like to know more about the services offered, contact Southwest EAP today. We are a full-service assistance program offering ongoing and emergent services for organizations of all sizes.