Do Employee Assistance Programs Really Work?

Going to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be a great option in many situations. Learn how EAPs provide outside counselors, resources and referrals to help employees and their families.

Do Employee Assistance Programs Really Work?

Going to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be a great option in many situations. You may be surprised at the number of problems you can actually solve within the number of sessions you are given. And when you can't solve a problem in those sessions, the EAP therapist can still help you evaluate your situation and give you a good referral. An EAP provides outside counselors, resources, and referrals to help employees and their families.

Any EAP benefits that employees or family members receive remain confidential. Employers don't know who is using the service, what the reasons are, or how often employees call. Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, there is complete confidentiality between the third-party EAP provider and the employee. Investing in employee well-being can generate greater returns for companies in the long term. As a result, EAPs, even with low utilization, generally show a positive return on investment (ROI) regardless of company size.

An EAP provides a confidential source that employees can use to find support and resources for certain challenges they face. The service is generally provided as part of a broader benefits package and connects employees with evaluations, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services. Depending on the situation, employees can access certain services from the security and privacy of their home. Under this pricing structure, the employer pays a fixed rate per employee per month, multiplied by the total number of employees throughout each contract year.

Employee Assistance Programs

(EAPs) can help employees with personal problems that affect their work performance.

Providing employees with support for issues that affect their well-being will improve the effectiveness of your drug-free work program. The International Association of Employee Assistance Professionals (EAPA) notes that small and medium-sized businesses are likely to have better participation rates (although they declined to provide specific data), probably because communication channels are more effective. Giving your employees access to resources and support to help them manage their entire lives will make them happier and more productive. Continuing the example of substance abuse, if your employee signs a consent form, the counselor could talk to you after treating the employee to give you limited feedback about their fitness for work. An Employee Assistance Program treats workers as individuals and supports them and their families in difficult times. In that case, employees have access to the service, but the organization only pays for the number of sessions reserved by employees.

The offerings of each program are different, but certain programs offer consultations to managers or executives on how to handle difficult situations in the workplace. A health care service, such as an EAP, can help manage long-term costs by helping to provide the advice, support and resources that employees need to be physically and mentally healthier, reducing their requests for health care. Your staff can take advantage of an Employee Assistance Program to help them find ways to keep their stress levels under control, even in these difficult times. All EAPs offer a predetermined number of counseling sessions, usually one to three, at no cost to the employee to fully evaluate the problem before recommending a resource, therapist or service to the employee. An Employee Assistance Program is one of the main benefits offered by employers in North America for good reason.

Rebecca Segalla
Rebecca Segalla

Professional tv specialist. Hipster-friendly beer evangelist. Devoted music buff. Friendly zombie expert. Amateur communicator.

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