Employees all face challenges—both on the job and at home. Balancing projects with tight timelines against personal struggles can really take a toll on their health and wellness. If left unchecked, these situations can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. That’s why providing working parents resources like an employee assistance program (EAP) can be crucial to your employees’ health and productivity.
What is an EAP?
Offering an EAP can help your employees get the resources they need to meet demands and overcome all types of obstacles in their lives. An EAP is a benefit program that gives employees the opportunity to receive free confidential assistance in identifying and resolving problems that can affect their job performance or personal satisfaction. Methods may include telephone support, in-person coaching and counseling sessions, online work-life resources, and referrals to community resources. For example, maybe you have an employee who needs a hand with dog walking but doesn’t have the time to research a resource that could help. While this might seem like a minor issue, it may be causing the employee a significant amount of stress. Maybe it’s even affecting his work hours because he is coming in late and leaving early. When some of the worry is taken away, the employee is now free to focus on work. Giving employees an easy way to address these day-to-day personal issues helps keep them from becoming costly and overwhelming for employers, too. EAPs that use experienced care managers can also help employees work toward solving more complex issues. Legal and financial concerns, work-related challenges, family and relationship issues, emotional health, and drug or alcohol concerns for themselves or a loved one—all are areas in which many employees often need help so that they can stay healthy, focused, and productive.
EAP cost for an employee
Since EAPs are offered as a workplace benefit that is independent from health insurance, often there is no extra cost when an employee uses this service. In many instances, visits with a counselor or coach are sufficient for addressing an issue.
How to select an EAP provider
When researching an EAP provider, ask a lot of questions—just as you would if you were interviewing a job candidate. You may want to keep the breadth of services in mind. An experienced EAP provider offers integrated wellness and employee assistance programs that focus on the holistic well-being of employees. While physical health is important, other factors like career development, retirement benefits, safety, mindfulness, sleep, relaxation, self-discovery, positivity, and social connectedness are also critical. This holistic approach helps ensure employees are able to balance their work, life, and wellness in an ever-changing environment.