Definition of Employee Assistance Program:
Employee Assistance Programs or EAPs are corporate programs aimed at helping employees handle their personal and professional issues that can interfere and affect their work life. Employees can talk about their problems to counselling practitioners or consultants, who can offer solutions and methods to help them. The issues could be financial, relationship, mental health ailments, substance abuse, child care and so on. It is the company’s discretion on what issues can be included in the EAPs.
Such programs positively impact companies. It improves the productivity and fosters loyalty at work, thereby reducing turnover rates of the company.
Why should you have Employee Assistance Programs in your company?
Employee Assistance Programs are a testament to the positive work culture your company claims to have. It lets your employees know that the company is genuinely invested in their wellbeing. Usually, an Employee Assistance program is characterized by these two features.
- Easily accessible and available: EAPs can easily accessed online, in the form of online appointments, podcasts, interactive programs and so on. Employees or their immediate family (if allowed)can get in touch with the experts through emails, texts, and other modes of communication.
- Provides Anonymity: All the information that the employee shares with the consultant remains confidential.
What are the benefits of Employee Assistance Programs?
- It addresses the primary concerns that cause absenteeism. It gives employees the freedom to speak and discuss the issues that bother them and prompts them to take time-offs. It could be personal, professional, or financial. By implementing an EAP, employees can voice their problems and can seek help to fix them. It also lets managers know what needs to be done for their employees well being.
- It improves the productivity and morale of the employees. EAPs help identify the challenges that employees face and provide solutions to them. When employees feel valued and believe that the company is focussing on their wellbeing, it breeds happiness and increases their productivity at work.
- Reduces stress and helps create a positive work culture. Work stress can be costly to companies. In fact, it costs US companies more than $300 billion, due to health, absenteeism, and poor productivity. With EAPs, employees can speak out and address their concerns. By doing so, it reduces their stress a great deal. They can focus on work better and tend to be more loyal. This in turn improves their work quality and the relationships.
- Reduces employee turnover rates. When employees see that their problems are addressed and resolved, they feel values and continue to work in the company.
- Improves Confidence and Morale at work. Depression and other ailments can affect the personality of a person. Someone you knew as confident and approachable would suddenly become aloof and low. Their productivity would drop and would affect their performance. With EAPs, it can help your employees a great deal. Employers know about the employee’s health progress, and can design the work plan accordingly. This will help boost their morale and get back on track with ease.