An organization is only as strong as its individual employees. And while most professionals try to maintain some separation between their home lives and their work lives, the two worlds inevitably overlap. When people are coping with personal difficulties – financial worries, family issues, relationship troubles, health or substance abuse problems – they often bring them into the workplace as well.
For example, an employee who is struggling with mental health challenges or who is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy will have trouble concentrating on tasks and see their job performance decline. Because they are dealing with stressful situations outside of work, their productivity and effectiveness will suffer on the job.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are designed to help workers identify and address personal concerns that affect job performance.
What is an Employee Assistance Program?
Employee Assistance Programs provide resources and support for employees going through a challenging time. EAPs aim to prevent, identify, and resolve any issues that affect workers’ health or happiness, resulting in benefits for both employees and employers. EAPs are company-sponsored and offered as free and confidential services to employees (and often their family members).
Some examples of services included in EAPs are:
- Counseling or professional services or referrals related to: addiction, abuse, mental health, caregiving, relationships, grief, legal, or financial issues
- Wellness and health promotion services, such as support quitting smoking or losing weight
- Work-related support services, such as career counseling or workplace conflict management
What are the Benefits of an Employee Assistance Program?
An EAP demonstrates that an organization cares about its employees and is willing to invest in their health and well-being. Employees who are battling personal problems may not seek help for a variety of reasons – cost, stigma, fear of losing their jobs. EAPs give them access to a safe place to get help without shame or negative consequences.
EAPs have been shown to play a role in:
- Decreasing absenteeism
- Boosting employee retention
- Reducing accidents, labor disputes, and workers compensation claims
- Minimizing medical costs from mental health and substance abuse identification and treatment
Interested in learning how to create a more supportive and productive workplace culture? Get more information about MedHQ’s human resources services.