5 Things to Look For When Choosing an Employee Assistance Program Provider

5 Things to Look For When Choosing an Employee Assistance Program Provider

Ohio, United states — It’s no secret that work–and life–can be a little stressful at times. From meeting deadlines to managing difficult projects, to your personal relations and goals outside of work: there are plenty of challenges that can lead to feelings of anxiety and burnout.

Since we all spend a lot of time at work, more and more of the responsibilities revolving mental health are falling on employers–and rightly so. But how can they help, when they’re not quite in the business of mental health?

That’s where an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be helpful. EAPs offer confidential counseling and support to employees who are dealing with personal or workplace issues. By providing access to resources and trained professionals, EAPs can help employees resolve problems before they become bigger problems.

In this article, we’ll give you a complete rundown of what an EAP is and how you pick one that’s right for your business and employees.

What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a work-based program that helps employees deal with personal problems that may affect their job performance, but they can also help with a variety of personal issues, such as stress management, relationship problems, substance abuse, and financial concerns.

EAP counselors can also help employees identify and address the underlying causes of problems that may be affecting their work performance.

Many EAPs also offer legal and financial consultation services. In most cases, it’s not just the employee who can benefit from the EAP, but their direct family members can too.

EAPs can provide short-term counseling, crisis intervention, and referrals to resources such as child care, legal services, and financial assistance.

Some EAPs also offer online resources, such as articles and self-assessment tools. Employees can typically access EAP services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Many EAPs also offer workshops and seminars on topics such as stress management, grief counseling, and conflict resolution.

What is included varies per program. Perkbox’s program for employee assistance, for instance, also offers discounts on gym memberships and mental wellbeing apps, while other programs might be more traditional and focused on face-to-face counseling.

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How does an EAP work?

While some EAPs are provided by employers, most EAPs are provided by third-party companies and are offered as part of an employee benefits package. In either case, the goal of an EAP is to help employees resolve issues before they become disruptive or harmful.

Some companies contract with an outside provider to offer counseling services to their employees. Others have an in-house team of counselors who are available to meet with employees on a confidential basis. Some companies also offer online resources or telephone hotline services that employees can use to get help with personal problems.

In most cases, employees who want to make use of one of the services an EAP provides, will go through an assessment to determine what type of help they need. If this is clear beforehand, employees can also directly reach out to the right partner in the program.

Depending on the scenario at hand, employees will go through short-term counseling. If this doesn’t turn out to be enough, it can be helpful to have an EAP who is able to recommend them next steps outside of the program.

A lot of people wonder about privacy when seeking out this kind of help through their employer: how much do they have to disclose to their manager? What are the consequences of reaching out for help?

Confidentiality is an important component of EAPs, as it helps to ensure that participants feel safe discussing sensitive topics. As a result, participants can be assured that their participation in an EAP will not impact their employment status.

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What to look for when choosing an EAP provider

When you’re considering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for your business, there are a few key aspects you should be looking for in potential providers.

  1. Team: firstly, find out how they work: do they have a dedicated team of counselors who will work with your employees, or will they be outsourcing this service?
  2. Qualifications and training: who is in their team of counselors and other aids, and what are their credentials?
  3. Industry experience: ask about who they work with:do they have experience in working with businesses of a similar size and industry to yours? For specific industries, it can be helpful if employees get to talk to people who are aware about the challenges in that industry, not having to explain themselves from scratch.
  4. Convenience: how are their services accessed and how quick can your employees get help? It is important to choose an EAP that offers convenient and responsive services, and it should be integrated seamlessly into your existing communication channels
  5. Feedback: finally, feedback is essential. Make sure that you choose an EAP that provides and asks for regular feedback to ensure that the program is still meeting your needs.

By asking these questions, you can be sure that you are choosing an EAP provider who is best placed to meet the needs of your business and employees.

It’s also crucial to talk to your employees to find out what they really value in an EAP. Maybe your employees are more keen to get started with self-help tools, such as apps, while in other organizations people are looking for counseling.

The benefits of having an EAP

First and foremost, an EAP should benefit your employees. Only after it helps them, your business will also start benefitting from it.

Employees who have access to an EAP are more likely to report feeling satisfied with their jobs and less likely to experience work-related stress.

After having an EAP in place for a while and promoting it correctly–more on that later–you can help improve employee productivity and morale, as well as reduce absenteeism and turnover.

In fact, studies have shown that EAPs can save businesses up to $16 for every dollar invested. Here’s how:

1. EAPs can improve employee productivity. Personal issues can have a major impact on job performance. By providing employees with access to counseling and other resources, EAPs can help them resolve personal problems that might otherwise interfere with their work.

2. EAPs can reduce absenteeism. Employees who are struggling with personal issues are more likely to take time off from work. By offering an EAP, employers can encourage employees to seek help before their problems lead to extended absences.

3. EAPs can lower healthcare costs. Employees who receive counseling through an EAP are less likely to require expensive medical treatments for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

4. EAPs can reduce turnover. Employees who feel supported by their employer are more likely to be satisfied with their job and less

Having an EAP in place is not enough: employers need to actively support employees in their wellbeing.

That was even ruled by the court: while in 2002 Sutherland versus Hatton stated that an EAP could protect an employer from employees’ stress claims, this was clarified later in 2007 when judges stated that employers needed to do more than simply offer an EAP.

So, how do you make sure that your employees are reaping all the benefits of your EAP?

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How to make the most out of your EAP

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be a valuable resource for employees, but many employees are unaware of the EAP or are reluctant to use it. Here are some ways to make the most of your EAP:

  • Encourage employees to take advantage of the EAP. Make sure they know about the program and how to access it. Let them know that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Communicate! Don’t just vaguely point towards it in onboarding documents, but communicate about it in newsletters, Slack channels, or even organize regular check-ins with employees to see if they could be making use of something in the EAP.
  • Use the EAP as an opportunity to build team morale. After all, everyone experiences difficulties at times. By normalizing the use of the EAP, you can create a culture of openness and support. If you hear any negative noises about people who use the EAP, address them directly.
  • Don’t wait until there’s a problem to use the EAP. The EAP can also be used for preventative purposes, such as stress management or grief counseling. Make sure employees know this. This could be done by writing out case studies giving quick presentations about the EAP revolving specific teams. Keep the EAP alive in the minds of your employees!

Taking care of your business means taking care of your employees

By making full use of your Employee Assistance Program, you can create a healthier and more supportive work environment for everyone, nourishing an environment in which both people and your business will thrive. Which services would you’ve appreciated if you were your own employee?

Media contact:

Name : pranesh Balaji
Email : pantheonukorg@gmail.com