The mental well-being of employees can directly impact the workplace and a company’s overall performance. Employers should consider how much they support their employees and their families.
A lack of adequate support can lead to:
- High turnover
- High absenteeism
- Lost productivity
On the other hand, effective employee support can lower organizational costs and enhance workplace effectiveness. These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s better to keep employees healthy and happy. With Canadian mental health awareness on the rise, this will only become more important over time.
One approach that companies have been taking is implementing Employee Assistance Programs (Also known as EAPs). These programs aim to support the mental health of all employees and can be added as part of an employee benefits plan.
This blog will explain what an EAP is and why you should consider having one implemented in your workplace.
What Can be Included in an Employee Assistance Program?
Programs are typically flexible with different levels and can be personalized to address the challenges your workplace is facing. Each company’s needs are unique, but in general, all employees get 24/7 access to confidential counseling and consultation services.
With a focus on finding solutions, many personal and work-related concerns can be resolved with an EAP.
Some common services are:
- Stress management counseling
- Health information and assessment
- Nutrition consulting
- Legal and financial consultation and referral
- Counseling and referral
- Crisis intervention
- Trauma response
- Family/eldercare support
- Childcare and eldercare information and resource referral
- Wellness seminars and newsletters
- Management training and orientation
EAPs tend to be flexible with services being available online, by texting, via phone calls, and in person. Each service is also available in both English and French. Lastly, some EAPs are also available for immediate family members of employees.
Benefits of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
We touched on them above, but we really want it clear.
The main benefits of implementing an employee assistance program in the workplace are:
1) They help employees feel safe, comfortable, and protected
If an employee feels uncomfortable discussing a workplace or personal issue, an active employee assistance program can help them feel safe as they discuss their challenges. By anonymously talking to certified counselors about the challenges they’re facing, they can feel more secure in the workplace.
An employee assistance program shows your employees that you’re dedicated to their safety and health.
2) Employee turnover rate will decrease
If an employee feels heard and understands their employer is actively working to help overcome challenges, their commitment to the company may increase. This can lead to employees remaining engaged and motivated to stay at a company long term, initially reducing the turnover rate.
3) Productivity and overall employee performance may increase
If an employee’s problems are being heard and resolved by a licensed counselor, they may feel more comfortable at work. If this happens, their mood may increase, along with their productivity. An employee who is feeling happier and less worrisome will feel more motivated to work, which can lead to better work performance.
How to Implement an Employee Assistance Program
There are 4 straightforward steps you can follow to consider implementing an EAP.
1) Determine the goals of your company and employees
2) Learn which EAPs are available to your company through your Benefits provider.
3) Research available EAP options and choose one. The cost to implement an employee assistance program varies depending on the plan you choose.
4) Inform your employees of the plan you chose and its guidelines.
If you have any questions about EAP feel free to contact us.
Sources: Workplace Strategies For Mental Health, Canada Life, LifeWorks