We live in a time where stress is all around us. Stress at work can come in the form of deadlines, heavy workloads and work conflicts. Stress at home may be the result of relationship issues, health challenges, packed kid schedules or financial woes. Regardless of its origins, the impact of stress on physical and emotional health is well documented. The consequences of stress can play out in the workplace for employees, resulting in absenteeism, presenteeism (where one is physically present at work, but not mentally invested), and loss of productivity. To help mitigate the impacts of stress in the workplace, employers can obtain an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. These programs can be a sound investment in the health and well-being of both employees and the organization.
Increasingly, employers are acknowledging that employees may need help coping with situations that hinder their well-being. What an EAP provides is confidential, professional assistance to help with both personal and work issues. There is no charge to the employee, depending on the program selected by the employer. EAPs are available to companies with 10 or more eligible employees. Having an EAP adds a small administrative burden, but the potential benefits outweigh the extra work associated with its administration.
Let’s take a look at some of those benefits:
- Reduce Healthcare Costs: An EAP can help resolve problems before they affect healthcare costs, by affording employees the opportunity to address issues with a trained medical provider or mental health professional.
- Avoid Loss of Productivity: Effectively addressing the root cause of issues impacting an employee may positively impact his or her well-being. Improved well-being can reduce absenteeism and presenteeism thereby improving productivity.
- Reduce Workplace Accidents: Having an EAP in place can reduce instances of work accidents resulting from distracted employees.
- Employee Engagement: An EAP can help foster a work environment where employees are unencumbered by stress and feel appreciated by their employer. When an employee feels that the organization “has their back”, this greatly increases their psychological commitment to the organization and their willingness to put in increased effort.
- Retain Employees: Access to an EAP can help reduce turnover as employees can speak to professionals and receive guidance and assistance to resolve or learn to cope with issues before they spiral out of control.
- Support Employees Through Traumatic Events: An EAP can provide on-site grief counseling to employees under unique circumstances. For example, if a colleague is injured, or an employee witnesses a traumatic injury to a co-worker, the program can provide immediate support.1
The cost to offer an EAP to employees will vary depending on the location, and whether it’s a pay-per-use program or a fixed rate per employee. Thus, the range can be anywhere from $10-$100 a year per employee.
For more information regarding Employee Assistance Programs or assistance in finding one that meets your organization’s needs, contact Sage Solutions Group at 734-855-7187 or visit us on the web at www.sagesolutionsgroup.com.
1. How to Leverage Employee Assistance Programs to Retain Talent. Brandon Laws, Jan 7, 2016. http://www.xeniumhr.com/blog/podcast/hrsb/how-to-leverage-employee-assistance-programs-to-retain-talent/