What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

By hrlineup | 27.01.2021

We all want to be happy and live worry-free lives. Though we have such moments in life, there are also the lows and the pains we have to go through and deal with. Unfortunately, the productivity of an employee is directly related to their overall happiness and feelings of content. Even worse, one employee’s personal problems can affect the productivity of the entire team.

To help mitigate the problem, you can have an Employee Assistance Program. This program helps employees to cope with their problems and keep them from affecting their performance at work.

Below is a short explanation of what EAP is and the benefits you stand to reap from it.

What is an EAP?

Generally, it is a wellness program created to boost employee performance by helping them cope and resolve personal problems. An EAP HR program offers short-term and confidential support on various problems including mental and physical health, legal and financial problems.

Most HRs set up EAPs to help with mental health. However, they also offer support in various ways including eldercare, childcare, pet sitting, and purchasing a home (for beginners). Moreover, these services can trickle down to employee spouses, dependents, and extended family.

Benefits of EAPs

Improved retention rate

Improving your employee wellness will positively impact their engagement in the company. Your employees will be happier at the office and in the long run, you’ll experience a higher employee retention rate.

Fewer insurance claims

Some of the insurance claims being filed can be prevented. With an EAP program, your employees can get help with their stressful situations ahead of time. If these problems are not handled in time, they could lead to accidents at the office or mental health problems.

When the number of filed insurance claims reduces over time, the company will benefit from lower premiums and save money.

Increased productivity

If the work environment is not conducive, you expect to see a drop in employee productivity. The same is true if the employee is not in the right headspace because of things going on at home or in other parts of their lives.

With EAPS, these distractions and disruptions are handled before they get out of hand. In the long run, employees experience calm in their lives and their productivity at works soars through the roof.

Affordable for Employers to Implement

One of the main benefits of EAPs is that they are affordable. According to current figures, they cost about 1% of what you’d otherwise pay yearly for your employee health insurance. But for it to yield maximum benefit, you need to communicate its availability to the employees’ failure to which they won’t use it. You might end up losing cash and business.

Employee Assistance Program Requirements

EAPs are not something you set up on a whim. On the contrary, a lot of thought goes into it given the strict policies and requirements surrounding it. At the bare minimum, the EAP you set up should adhere to the following:

  • Employee confidentiality.
  • Have sufficient trained staff to provide support to employees.
  • Be available 24/7.
  • Ability to adjust and meet the changing employee needs.
  • Have multiple methods of communication.
  • Prioritize the quality of the program over the cost.

Regardless of how you look at it, EAPs are beneficial programs that pay for themselves by ensuring employees are in tip-top shape. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most underused services in organizations. Luckily, you can change this and reap the benefits.

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