How a poorly created EAP program impacts the employees adversely

 

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) support employees and their families with mental health and emotional concerns by assessing their needs, providing assistance, counselling, and referrals. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are available to help employees deal with life events, workplace troubles, and other personal problems and challenges.

Companies are increasingly putting money into their employees health and happiness. The expenses of corporate wellness initiatives are dwarfed by decreases in insurance costs and absenteeism, according to extensive studies in the disciplines of medicine, public health, and health economics. According to a recent meta-analysis, every dollar invested on wellness initiatives saves $3.27 in medical expenditures and $2.73 in absence costs (Baicker et al. 2010). Although these gains are significant, they overlook one of the most critical operational advantages of investing in employee health and well-being: increased worker productivity.

Many factors are to be considered while choosing the right EAP for the organization. HRs and managers spend time to evaluate many providers, but mainly only in terms of commercials. Of course, economical plans are chosen above all, however, many important features of EAPs are overlooked due to it.

This article will touch upon the crucial aspects of EAP that needs to be considered more significantly and how absence of these features impacts the employees adversely.

Confidentiality

HIPAA compliance is a certificate that ensures how client records are kept highly confidential and the system is encrypted. Many EAP providers fail to comply to this. Employees need to be assured that their conversations and therapy processes are kept confidential between them and the therapist. If this is not in place, employees won’t be comfortable using the services that are being offered.

Awareness Workshops

Mental health issues are unfortunately still hold stigma towards it. Usually, EAP providers only offer online counseling sessions without helping and encouraging employees to come forward and seek help if they require. Creating awareness about mental health and letting them know it is okay to have issues and they are treatable; the services will only then be utilized to its optimum level creating a positive impact.

Accessibility

Minimization of user interaction is essential for the best usage of EAP services. When a lot of processes are required to simply book an appointment, hesitations come up and eventually employees are not up for a lengthy process.

Therapy processes

Another key factor is the quality of therapy provided. Many economical plans would offer 30-minutes consultations contrary to typical and traditional 60-minute sessions. Qualification of the therapists also need to be checked while evaluating EAPs.

Engagement

More often than not, EAP providers do not offer to do the background work. That is, managing employee requests, helping them in choosing a therapist, calling, and making emailers to create a buzz for the services provided. This is done because, employee are many a times never aware of such a program running in the organization!

These features if not in place, makes an EAP poorly structed and therefore does not yield any positive outcome. This also affects the employees in a negative way and is eventually reflected in the organizational growth!

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