Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employer-sponsored benefit programs designed to improve productivity by helping employees identify and resolve personal concerns. These programs are authorized by public laws 96-180 and 96-181, and are designed to help people understand or overcome their difficulties, regardless of whether the source is work or not. EAPs offer a variety of services, such as employee education, individual evaluations, organizational evaluations, management consultations, referrals to treatment, and short-term counseling. The two most important characteristics of employee assistance programs are that they are confidential and short-term.
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. Federal professionals oversee and evaluate the delivery of program services and ensure the quality that the needs of employees and agencies are met. An employee assistance program can be a cost-effective way to add value to your employee experience. By helping employees address their issues and concerns, you can increase retention by earning the trust and loyalty of your employees.
Unfortunately, most employees who participate in wellness programs have fewer risk factors to start with, while high-risk employees tend to stay away. An agency can have an excellent EAP program; however, the stigma associated with mental health support can discourage employees from seeking help. Employee assistance programs treat workers as individuals and support them and their families through difficult times. As an employer, it is important to make sure that your employees know about the program and feel comfortable using it when needed.
By doing so, you can help your employees manage their mental health and wellbeing more effectively.