An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a professional service that provides employees with confidential support and resources to address certain challenges they face. It is generally offered as part of a broader benefits package and connects employees with evaluations, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services. An EAP treats workers as individuals and supports them and their families in difficult times, helping them resolve problems outside of work through counseling. This improves their mental state and happiness, which increases morale and commitment to the company. The LifeWorks study found that the lack of participation in EAP services improved by 28% after its implementation.
An EAP program provides services to employees in the form of counseling and additional resources, as well as services to managers and employers in the form of organizational development and training. The idea is to address personal problems before they interfere with work performance. Employee assistance programs help employees resolve issues that affect their work. It is a voluntary, work-funded service that can provide assistance to employees with a variety of problems. These programs provide an online platform where employees can log in and access various podcasts, videos, and interactive programs according to their needs. An employee assistance program can be a cost-effective way to add value to your employee experience.
Employees who need help on certain issues will appreciate having access to resources to discuss sensitive issues with complete confidence. In-house employee assistance programs are generally only offered by large corporations with the resources needed to manage the services offered. Having access to immediate advice, as well as resources related to thousands of potential issues, allows the employee to receive the assistance they need to address their problems when they need it, as well as to continue performing their job functions. Providing your employees with access to resources and support to help them manage their entire lives will make them happier and more productive employees. Managers and human resources staff are generally not trained to provide therapy or counseling to employees, and an EAP provides them with a way to help an employee without rejecting an employee in need. Generally, an organization offers employee assistance programs at little or no cost.
In addition, supervisors can always have an employee referred to the program if they are faced with a situation that the EAP should manage.