The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a joint labor-management program that provides New York State employees with a range of benefits, from improving employee well-being to increasing productivity and workplace morale. It is generally offered as part of a broader benefits package and provides employees with confidential evaluations, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services. Depending on the situation, employees can access certain services from the comfort of their own home. The purpose of an EAP is to help employees balance their personal life and work. It is designed to assist people in understanding or overcoming their difficulties, regardless of whether the source is work-related or not.
While most EAPs offer a wide range of services, they often refer to other professionals or agencies that can provide more specialized care in specific areas. For example, let's say an employee has a strong track record in sales. Suddenly, their sales drop and their performance is so low that the manager is considering putting them on an improvement plan. What the manager may not know is that the employee has recently lost a close friend and is struggling with grief. Getting to work in the morning is difficult, let alone meeting sales goals.
An employee assistance program can provide support for this employee in difficult times. It's important for all employees, including leadership members, to understand how employee assistance programs (EAPs) can play an important role in maintaining mental health. Providing employees with support for issues that affect their well-being will improve the effectiveness of any drug-free work program. Once the program is up and running, it's important that employers continue to communicate benefits to employees so that they know where to turn when they face a problem. The Federal Department of Occupational Health (FOH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides professional consultation and technical assistance to agencies in the development and oversight of EAP programs. They also provide comprehensive EAP services to agencies through inter-agency agreements.
These professionals can be direct employees of the company or they can be employees of an EAP provider that has been hired to provide on-site services in the workplace. Public Law 79-658 authorizes the head of the agency to establish health service programs for employees. It also forms the basis for expanding counseling programs for those who deal only with a substance use disorder to wide-ranging programs that provide counseling for other personal problems. Through these legislative initiatives, the Office of Personnel Management is responsible for providing general guidance to federal agencies, creating baseline expectations for agency programs, and helping agencies implement those programs as effectively as possible. The SAMHSA also provides technical assistance to federal agencies on drug testing, medical screening, laboratory certification, and the overall implementation of the drug program. An external program provides employees and their family members with access to a toll-free number for admission to the service. 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. Each agency's Employee Assistance Program has professionals who are experienced in helping employees, managers and teams overcome these problems by developing techniques and plans for coping with stress, facilitating group briefings after traumatic events, identifying and referring people employees to professional and community resources and other recovery techniques. Regarding potential benefits, EAPs are low-cost programs that provide significant gains to employees while helping companies minimize potential losses resulting from these challenges.
This makes EAPs an integral part of any company's employee wellness program.