What is the Purpose of an Employee Assistance Program?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help employees resolve personal problems that may adversely affect their work performance. Learn more about how EAPs work & how they can benefit your organization.

What is the Purpose of an Employee Assistance Program?

Employee assistance programs can help employees with personal problems that affect their work performance. 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. The EAP offers help in resolving difficulties that may be affecting work.

However, these difficulties need not be caused by problems in the workplace.

Employee assistance programs are designed to assist

people understand or overcome their difficulties, regardless of whether the source is work 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 particular areas. Employee assistance programs help employees resolve issues that affect their work. It is a counseling and consulting program in which employees present the problems they face.

Public laws 96-180 and 96-181 authorize agencies to extend counseling services, as far as possible, to family members of employees who have problems with alcohol and drugs, and to employees with family members who have substance use disorder. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides evaluation, short-term counseling, referral, management consultation and training services to federal employees, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The EAP provided by FOH is a comprehensive program that helps employees resolve personal problems that may adversely affect their work performance, behavior, health, and general well-being.

Employee assistance programs

are quite complex if you don't have the basic knowledge of how they work. Several legislative initiatives have shaped the orientation and implementation of employee assistance programs in the Federal Government.

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. These programs provide an online platform where employees can log in and access various podcasts, videos, and interactive programs according to their needs. Federal professionals oversee and evaluate the delivery of program services and ensure the quality that the needs of employees and agencies are met. 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. For example, familiarizing yourself with the topic of substance use disorder with your agency's emergency action plan, as well as the resources available to help employees before, during and after an emergency, is useful if you're in an emergency situation. The focus of these programs expanded when organizations recognized that alcohol was not the only problem affecting employees at work. An employee assistance program (EAP) is an example of how it can help employees resolve a variety of problems that contribute to stress, which in turn can adversely affect their work performance and morale.

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 and provides comprehensive EAP services to agencies through inter-agency agreements. 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.

Rebecca Segalla
Rebecca Segalla

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

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