How to Promote an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP's) are a valuable benefit that may be necessary for certain employees, to receive the help they need. An EAP can also provide relief for employees who are in need of resources they do not currently have access to. Be sure to check with your insurance carrier to see what employee benefits may be offered under your policy, and whether an EAP is available to you.
What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
An employee assistance program (EAP) is an employee benefit that assists workers with personal or work-related problems, and may impact their job performance, physical and mental health. This can include substance abuse, family troubles, finances, and emotional well being.
EAPs generally offer free and confidential mental health assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees.
How Does an Employee Assistance Program Work?
EAP counselors may consult with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.
Even though EAP programs are aimed primarily at occupational stress, there are a variety of programs that can assist with problems outside of the workplace.
This can include:
- Conflicts within the workplace
- Substance dependence
- Work-related stress
- Financial woes
- Child care
These are only a few causes that would warrant enrollment in an EAP. EAPs are cost effective ways to reduce the impact these issues have on employees both at home and at the workplace. As noted in the 2019 SHRM Employee Benefits research report, 79 percent of employers who were surveyed offered an EAP.
Be sure to check with your insurance carrier to see what employee benefits may be offered under your policy, and whether an EAP is available to you.
How Can an EAP Benefit Employees?
An EAP can offer employees the help they need almost immediately. It can put them in touch with counselors for example, and allow them a chance to get the help they need.
A common concern when establishing an EAP is low levels of enrollment. It may be due to several factors:
- Lack of knowledge surrounding the EAP
- Employees have not been made fully aware of the EAP
- Fear of the stigmas that coincide with participation in an EAP
Human Resources can be proactive by encouraging employees to take advantage of these services, which will help contribute to a culture of prevention.
- Providing education can increase employee awareness of the EAP, and in turn provide employees with the help they need.
- The success of a company is directly correlated to the production levels of its employees. Having access to these health benefits will help keep your employees working at optimum levels of production, while also increasing employee satisfaction.
- By increasing access to benefits, you can help drive employee engagement, stress management, and team involvement.
- Employees want to know that a company has their best interest in mind. Offering these benefits is not only a necessary benefit for many employees, but one that shows just how much you care for their well being. This can be an important factor during the recruiting process.
- Offering an EAP provides employees with health benefits that may not only be helpful, but necessary. This is why it is so important that companies find ways to assist employees and encourage them to enroll in these benefits should they need the support. Consider your retention strategy, and focus on necessary benefits.
- Be generous with literature on the EAP. Post it in your weekly newsletter, hang up flyers in the office, and create content intended to engage with employees on the matter.
I'd like to let you know you have access to an Employee Assistance Program through our organization.
If you or someone you love isn't feeling at the top of their mental health game right now, that's not weird. Lots of people are under a lot of stress right now. Our EAP is designed to offer support if you'd like to try it out.
How does our EAP Work?
We pay for your EAP. It's a free benefit to you, and it's included in your employer-paid disability policy. Services are available to all eligible employees, their spouses or domestic partners, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.
It's 100% confidential. Your privacy is protected by federal law, and no one at our organization will ever know if you use it.
To try out our EAP, you only have to indicate that you are an employee with our organization or you're related to an employee of our organization, and that you have the service with the employee's Insurance plan.
How do I use it?
—You can learn more about it by visiting provider's website
—You can also call at 1-800-xxx-xxxx (multi-lingual) 24/7
How can our EAP support me or my loved ones?
A Licensed Professional Counselor can help you with:
—Stress, depression, anxiety
—Relationship issues, divorce
—Job stress, work conflicts
—Family and parenting problems
—Anger, grief and loss
Work/Life Specialists can help with balancing work and life issues and can help you find resources in your community. Ask our Work/Life Specialists about:
—Financial services, debt management, credit report issues
—Even reducing your medical/dental bills!
Check out the attached for even more detail. And if you think you need help, please try it.
How To Establish an EAP?
Employers first need to educate themselves on the employee benefits offered, how the contract works, and by what means employees may access EAP benefits. According to SHRM, there are a number of common delivery models to consider when establishing an EAP:
- Management-sponsored Programs
- This is most common with large employers. Organizations hire an EAP team directly, to help run the EAP from in-house.
- Fixed-fee model
- This model is most beneficial for a small or mid-sized organization. It allows employers to gain a selection of benefits and services for a set fee, based on the size of the organization.
- Fee-for-service contracts
- This method allows companies to contract with an EAP provider to only pay for the services used.
- In this model, small businesses can lower costs by joining together to contract for EAP services.
- Member assistance programs
- This model is specifically offered by unions or member assistant programs (MAP’s). It offers services to families and provides referrals for those needing long term care. Typically this model is only available to union members.
- Peer assistance programs
- Peer assistance programs (PAP’s) are offered by unions and employers. They train peers to help address certain issues within the confines of the program.
- Mixed-model programs
- This is for companies who have multiple work locations and a need for a variety of resources.
Is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Right for you?
Employee Assistance Programs are a valuable benefit that, as stated above, can be necessary for certain employees to receive the help they need. They provide relief for employees who are in need of resources they do not currently have access to. These can go beyond the employee and even translate to the family members of the employee.
For any organization the people are the bones of the operation. Support employees by offering them resources for both their physical and mental health. Taking care of their needs and allowing them the opportunity to work at full capacity is essential. So don’t wait. Reach out to your benefits partner and find out what your options are today.
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