Today’s employers have the responsibility to make the workplace safe, prevent risks to employee health, and ensure that the work environment is secure and protected. Most companies acknowledge that employee health and safety is paramount to any successful business. What is often overlooked is that many employees suffer from underlying issues that directly prevent them from being as productive as they could be. In these stressful times, the frequency and magnitude of human problems has, predictably, increased. To this end, many companies provide an Employee Assistance Program.
Just what is an EAP?
An Employee Assistance Program is a program designed to assist in the identification and resolution of productivity problems including, but not limited to, health, marriage, family, financial, alcohol and drugs, legal, emotional stress, or other personal issues which may adversely affect employee job performance (EAPA, 1990).
Most EAPs began in the 1940s with employer concerns about alcoholism among white-collar workers. Gradually these programs evolved and began treating mental, emotional, and financial problems, as well as those problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
The tremendous growth in EAPs, however, began in the early 1970s. In 1972, the Occupational Programs Office of the Federal Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offered federal grants to help increase the number of programs.
Did you know:
Studies show that when legal/financial work life services are provided, work loss was avoided in 39% of the cases and work productivity was improved 36% of the cases (Attridge, M. 2002, June).
An employer-sponsored EAP program can reduce an employer’s disability costs, medical costs, pharmacy costs, and workers’ compensation costs (Watson Wyatt, 2001).
When EAP services are provided, work loss is avoided in 60% of cases with an average savings of 17 hours per case. 72% of these cases showed improved work productivity with an average gain of 43% (Attridge, M., 2001, August).
What can an EAP offer to employees?
EAPs offer employers an alternative approach to addressing job performance in the workplace. The goal of any EAP is to restore employees to full productivity. More specifically, EAPs provide confidential, short term counseling to identify the employee’s problem and, when appropriate, make a referral to an outside organization, facility or program that can assist the employee in resolving his or her problem.
Today’s companies rely on their employees to contribute to a successful bottom line. An EAP can enhance a company’s profitability by reducing liability, health insurance costs, and the expense of replacing employees. This is the true value that an EAP brings to today’s workplace.
For more information call 770-683-1327 to find out if an EAP can assist your organization.