Employee Assistance Programs and Their 5 Benefits

April 16, 2021

An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-site program designed to assist employees with personal and work-related issues. EAPs are often offered as a benefit to employees and are sometimes available in the forms of employee hotlines, workshops, online counselling, and personal counselling.

Many employers offer EAP services as a benefit in order to reduce absenteeism and tardiness, to increase productivity, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent legal claims and this certainly has benefits that can be enjoyed by the organisations as well.

The main difference between an EAP and a traditional employee assistance program is the relationship that it has with the employer. An employee assistance program is usually provided by an employer to employees for enhancing their efficiency and productivity by relieving them from stress-causing agents.

Employee Assistance Program: Types

An employee assistance program is essentially confidential support services offered to employees and their families. As the name implies, EAPs are designed to help with a wide range of issues both personal and professional and come under HR services. The most important part of an EAP is, of course, confidentiality, which means that employees can speak about their problems knowing that their employers won’t take advantage of the information for their own gain.

An employee assistance program supports a wide variety of problems and helps in overcoming them. Problems might include:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Family Issues like Domestic Violence, Divorce, and more
  • Stress and Burnout
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Retirement Planning or any other problem that is causing mental and emotional stress or distress to the employee is all supported.

There are mainly 2 ways in which you can access an employment assistance program i.e internally and externally. However, there is also a blended approach that is a mix of both.

Internal EAP Programs

Big organisations and corporations tend to staff in-house resources that can be accessed whenever and however. The professionals are hired and these people are trained to understand the challenges of the work world and can assist with a wide variety of issues that may impede an employee’s ability to perform at their best.

External EAP Services

The External EAP services are more trusted by the employees because of their privacy concerns. Such external programs are connected through free phone numbers and an EAP specialist will verify the employee’s details and give suggestions for the best resources near him/her.

5 Benefits of EAP Program

An EAP program in an organisation helps not only the employees but the employers as well because replacement of an employee has many detrimental effects on the organization’s annual earnings. They can reduce by almost 50%! Employee retention rate can be increased exponentially given opting for the EAP services.

1. Reduced Absenteeism

Every employee wants to be valued by their organisation. An organisation can show this by caring about the employees’ well-being. A person who is stressed is more likely to fall sick by burnout and other stressors. This can result in higher absenteeism. This can be prevented using an employee assistance program that caters to everything.

2. Better Productivity

Workers who are stressed, depressed, or anxious are less likely to accomplish greater goals and do more and innovative things. When employees are free of such tensions they perform better and tend to achieve more. EAP services provide workers with the help they need to work at full productivity and with high efficiency.

3. Lower Insurance Costs

EAP programs can catch larger issues that could cost the organisation more at a later stage. Employees that are mentally stress-free and at ease are less likely to fall ill or get into accidents, This saves a higher cost of insurance cover for the company.

4. Positive Company Culture

New research shows that a positive culture can actually improve company performance, which is why EAP programs are increasingly being used to manage positive company cultures. An employee assistance program ensures that there is a better and positive environment in the company as the employees know that the company has their back whenever they find themselves slipping. This security boosts the morale of the workforce incredibly.

5. Higher Rate Of Retention

More and more employees are now believing that a company’s culture should be supportive of mental health. The younger generation is keener on such regulations. Developing an EAP program is a sign that you care for your employees and that they are not dispensable to you.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that an employer can never tell what is affecting an employee until it results in lower productivity. Discussing their problems with the employer or even co-workers becomes difficult. This is the reason why investing in an employee assistance program can prove to be useful. It is a tool to boost the productivity of the employees by boosting their morale and help them with their everyday problems.

For support with choosing and implementing an effective EAP, contact The HR Team today on 01202 701 414 or email info@thehrteam.co.uk 


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