Explore the benefits of an Employee Assistance Programme

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A number of employers will take on the idea of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as part of their overall company employee benefits, but the extent of its affect goes much further than this and a lot of companies do not realise the full potential.

Everyone will go through life having to deal with some kind of personal problem, and providing employees with a way to cope is hugely beneficial to you and to them. The key is understanding the offering and ensuring everyone involved appreciates the value of an EAP and how and what to do with it.

As a properly managed tool, an EAP can have a big impact on a business’s absenteeism and productivity. They can have a big effect on the mental health of employees and as a result their productivity and attendance will improve. The mental health of an individual affects them in more ways than immediately thought.

Having access to qualified, professional counsellors provides an outlet for whatever problems may be affecting them. With an initial phone call and consultation, a counsellor can arrange up to 8 face-to-face sessions to provide advice and help them deal with the issue.

Productivity at work is key. Personal issues can affect this from work-related stress, family issues and alcohol or drug problems. Allowing employees to have access to a 24/7 helpline when they need it, results in a healthier, more productive workforce.

An EAP has specific goals when assisting those who call including:

  • Aim to provide a good network of support
  • Help to identify the problems and where and how to work on them
  • Educate employees in coping with the issue so it does not affect them the same way again
  • Provide appropriate follow up appointments to ensure success

An important message to convey to employees is the confidentiality of the service. The more they believe in this, the more likely they are to use it. None of what is discussed through an EAP will ever be shared with their employer, meaning they do not need to worry about anything affecting their job or career.

Employee stress can, and does, build up over time, so ensuring your employees have access to an EAP will avoid any unnecessary stress that could turn into something more serious. The effect of this on your business and workforce is limitless.

If you are interested in a Health Shield health cash plan with access to an EAP, visit our Employers section to see what is available to you. Cover for this is available from as little as £1.15 per week per employee.