Here Are the Basics of Employee Assistance Programs

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an employee assistance program (EAP) helps to identify and help employees when personal issues interrupt their job performance. EAPs offer a variety of counseling services, from marital counseling to financial guidance to counseling for depression and substance abuse. The employer pays for the EAP. However, employees and their families can utilize the EAP’s free services. Because many employees have significant health insurance co-pays, they may not reach out for counseling or other mental health services. The EAP can eliminate employee costs, making employees more willing to utilize services.

Organizations with EAPs face reduced challenges in these areas.

Workplace conflicts may decrease as employees learn tools to deal with workplace harassment or perceptions of unfair treatment.

Substance abuse can affect employees, whether they are using or their partners or children are. EAP services can help the whole family deal more effectively with drug and alcohol problems.

Family troubles can reduce employees’ work efficiency. A divorce or step-parenting issue can polarize even strongly committed partners. EAP services can help families adapt to challenges.

Sandwich generation caregivers may experience many work absences. EAPs can help find elder care and provide unbiased advice on many childcare and elder care issues.

Legal advice can be expensive. Finding the right advice can be time-consuming. EAPs can refer for legal issues such as child support, custody and bankruptcy.

Financial counseling is important, since so many employees enter the workplace without money management skills. EAPs can point to employee resources such as credit counseling or courses that teach workers how to better manage their incomes and save for retirement.

With the stressors of modern society, today’s workers need EAP programs. History shows employees underutilize EAPs, so it’s up to the employer to educate employees on these important services. Call us for more information on EAP programs.