What are Employee Assistance Programs?

Employee Assistance Programs or EAPs are the services offered by employers to help their employees cope with personal and family issues they may face and ultimately affect their performance. These services aim at ensuring the emotional well-being of the employees and positively influencing their overall health and performance.

What to Expect with Employee Assistance Programs

Employee assistance programs were initially crafted to help employees deal with their drug and alcohol abuse issues, allowing organizations to rehabilitate their valuable human resources rather having to terminate them. Today, the scope of these programs has expanded to include a wide range of services that address employees’ mental health issues, overall well being, and workplace concerns.

Some of the important matters this program may deal with include:

  • Handling workplace stress
  • Emotional issues
  • Anxiety, stress and depression
  • Addiction
  • Family relationships
  • Coping with the loss of a loved one
  • Coping with change
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Recreational activities
  • Anger management

Employees usually do not have to pay for this program as it is their employer’s duty to provide it. Moreover, all the EAP referrals and consultations are kept confidential, guaranteeing the privacy of all the matters at hand.

The Benefits of EAPs for Employees

EAPs provide immediate assistance to employees that have issues which require immediate assistance. Some EAP providers offer a 24-hour hotline which allows them to connect with someone until they can meet a professional later on. As these programs also help with personal issues, they can provide employees with an outlet to resolve their issues or cope with them to improve their job performance.

EAPs also help in preventing escalation. As work stress builds up, conflicts with other employees are bound to rise and may escalate into a violent situation. Enrolling stressed out employees or those facing problems at their homes will allow them to receive help during the early stages of a problem, preventing it from growing into a more serious issue.

The Benefits of this Therapy for Employers

Employers who offer EAP to their employees not only attract better human resource for the organization, but also retain them successfully. EAP also offers employers immense returns in the form of a more productive workforce, lower absenteeism percentage, fewer medical costs, reduced turnover, a better workplace environment, and higher levels of motivation.

Employee assistance programs help employees and employers and ensure the best for the organization. Therefore, it is important that employers consider adding this to their services.