Most of the time, financial, emotional and marital problems can be significant reasons employees miss work schedules or show faltering performance. They might struggle with mental health or have difficulty managing their parent’s estate post-death. Moreover, alcohol addiction, the inability to quit smoking, or a medical bill dispute can cause stress. All of these not only put pressure on their personal lives but also on their professional lives. And we should help them by choosing an E.A.P. or Employee Assistance Program.
What Is E.A.P.?
It is a professional, voluntary program offering confidential and free assessments, short-term counselling, referrals and follow-ups to workers with business and personal problems. This work-based intervention program is mainly for helping employees solve problems like substance misuse and alcohol, elder or child care, legal or financial issues, relationship challenges, etc. Also, it covers traumatic events such as workplace violence and wellness matters that might adversely affect their work performance. And E.A.P.s has helped 86% of the employees to have better well-being.
These programs are offered to the workers free of cost by the stand-alone E.A.P. vendors or by providers who are a part of all-inclusive health insurance policies. We get this service through phone, online chatting, face-to-face, email, or video-based counselling.
E.A.P.s might include services like basic legal help, adoption assistance and nurse advice lines. Such services are available to employees and even the team member’s children, spouses and other non-marital partners living in the same household. E.R.I.S.A., or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, regulates E.A.P.s that provide treatment and direct counselling instead of referrals for treatment and counselling and are subject to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA.
How Do You Know if You Need an Employee Assistance Program?
Since stress is continually rising in the work environment and most employees do not reach out for help, it has become a norm for employers to set an E.A.P. within their company. But how do you know if you need an E.A.P.? If you keep a close watch on the stressors that create challenges for your employees, like large workloads, co-workers conflicts and worries about job security, you will know whether your employees need an E.A.P.
As a business, work towards managing factors like job security and work-life balance worries. Still, you might not know what happens in a team member’s personal life. Per the American Institute of Stress, employees’ personal lives account for 20% of stress. So, observe each team member’s job performance and evaluate whether any personal and professional issues are affecting it. If yes, immediately have an E.A.P. in place.
How Do You Choose the Right Employee Assistance Program for Your Business?
You need to consider several things when choosing the right E.A.P. for your business.
- Services Offered
First, pay attention to the services and intake procedure to find a highly effective E.A.P. for your employees. E.A.P.s offer different services, but they generally fall into three categories. These are consultation and training for management, critical incident response and personal team member support. When finding the most suitable E.A.P. for your business, focus on your employees and leadership. Understand what services your employees find valuable and best resonate with their requirements.
Look for E.A.P.s to help employees manage stress, grief, depression, family and marital issues, substance abuse, life transitions, work-related problems and financial worries through counselling services, life/work advantages, and other resources.
- Counselling Sessions
Consider the type of counselling sessions available and note whether they are telephonic or face-to-face. Also, consider the online support tools provided and whether these tools can address different concerns like well-being, family problems, mental health and financial stress. Also, track down whether it is easy or difficult to use the available tools.
What Are the Benefits of Having an Employee Assistance Program?
There are several benefits of having an E.A.P.:
- The right E.A.P. reduces absenteeism and helps employees raise their concerns. And, when the business addresses employees’ concerns, they no longer miss work.
- Distraction from professional or personal problems is one of the significant factors contributing to low productivity within an organisation. E.A.P.s can help businesses increase their employees’ productivity by taking care of the difficulties they are facing.
- Implementing Employee Assistance Programs can help troubling employees by giving them proper support with their problems. It changes the mood of the other employees and reduces stress levels. So, overall, there is a positive work environment created.
- We can use E.A.P. not only to understand the team member’s problems but also to provide a proper solution, which can boost their morale and confidence.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Having an E.A.P.?
The different drawbacks to having an E.A.P. are as follows:
- E.A.P.s are not supposed to be constantly working technically and can stop suddenly. While most E.A.P.s are off-site, online ones can stop anytime without prior notice.
- Several employees feel that the services obtainable through an E.A.P. are of no specific use. They think some force bound them, leading them to become something they do not want to.
- E.A.P. is making a mandatory scheme for the employees, which can often create problems as they might not always be happy with something offered to them compulsorily.
- The most common drawback of E.A.P.s is the lack of information. The employees do not have much information about these programs, so they do not want to get associated with them.
E.A.P.s do not require a considerable investment but can provide substantial team member advantages. You must learn more about such services and find the most suitable one for your employees as an organisation. Above everything else, try and understand the mental health problems of your employees and do the needful in this regard.
At the same time, also look for programs, guidance and support to help your employees do away with their mental health issues and emotions. The best is to take the help of https://www.unitedwecare.com/, where we provide you with the most effective self-care, meditation and mindfulness programs that can significantly help your employees.
United We Care is a product of passion and love, giving the world the potential to attain inclusive and equal access to proper support- securely, conveniently and safely from the comforts of one’s home.