Modern employees want to work for employers who care for their well-being. An employee assistance program (EAP) is a great employee benefit for giving employees and their family members who are struggling with stress, substance abuse, relationship problems, grief and a host of other personal issues an around-the-clock, confidential resource to get the help they need.
For some, the mere mention of an EAP brings visions of distraught employees calling a 1-800 number for counseling help. While providing counseling is a primary service, an EAP also offers many additional resources that employers and staff can use to handle a variety of work-related situations.
Have you ever struggled with how to counsel an employee on their work performance? Many EAPs offer online training and telephone counseling as part of their resource tools for managers. Depending on your EAP provider, these manager resources can include best practices for documenting performance issues, tips for delivering professional improvement messages or managing change in the workplace.
The emotional toll of an employee’s death or other shared traumatic experience can affect every corner of the workplace. EAP providers typically have a fee-for-service option for onsite crisis intervention services. You can work with a counselor who will come to the worksite to help you and your employees in group and one-on-one sessions with general support and coping tips. They may also confidentially refer out employees who need additional counseling.
Employers often learn that their employees are facing a challenge in their personal lives but may not know how or if they should help. Making all of your employees aware of the different services an EAP can offer on a regular basis is a great way to start the conversation without making your employees feel targeted or judged.
EAP services can include assistance with identifying reputable local childcare or eldercare. Employees facing financial issues can attend webinars on debt management or planning for retirement. Make sure your managers and employees are aware of the online, telephone and print resources that are available through your EAP - usually at no cost to the employee.
One reason employees may not be taking advantage of a work-provided EAP is a desire to keep their personal issues and work life separated. In order for employees to really use the wonderful benefits of an EAP, it is up to employers to promote the EAP as a confidential benefit. All employees should be informed that colleagues and members of the management or executive teams will not have access to information about individual services that the EAP provides.
This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.