On a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of workers struggle with stressors they don’t feel comfortable enough discussing at work: mental illness, substance abuse, family problems. Personal problems can cause significant absenteeism, reduction in quality of work and even staff turnover. Recognizing this, many employers provide EAP or Employee Assistance Programs aimed at assisting employees with identifying and resolving personal concerns. Employee Assistance Programs can give your employees a way to cope with personal issues that can have a negative impact on their job performance. With most EAP’s, employees have telephone access to trained counselors 24/7 as well as in-person access if necessary. Counselors can also respond on-site when there is a critical incident that could potentially affect workers such as an employee death, incident of work place violence or even lay-offs.
EAPs allow individual workers and their family members to confidentially access counselors for a variety of issues related to mental health (such as depression, ADHD or bipolar disorder), substance use disorders, legal problems or marital concerns. Work & home stress can build up over time and could possibly lead to conflicts with other employees or even escalate into a violent situation. With the EAP, the employee can seek help during the early stages of a problem, which can prevent it from turning something more serious. Employees typically have access to an EAP hotline 24 hours a day, so there is no need to wait to seek assistance.
According to the Department of Labor study “What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs,” for every dollar invested in an EAP, employers generally save anywhere from $5 to $16. Data provided by the Houston-based Interface EAP, claims that employee use of EAPs has been shown to result in a:
- 66 percent decline in absenteeism after alcohol abusers have been identified and treated.
- 75 percent reduction in inpatient alcohol and other drug abuse treatment costs.
- 33 percent decline in use of sickness benefits.
- 65 percent decline in work-related accidents.
- 30 percent decline in workers’ compensation claims
- EAPS also benefit the organization by:
- Attract & retain employees
- Increase productivity
- Reduce absenteeism
- Boost morale
- Prevent employee theft
- Promote workforce cooperation
- Enhance organizational health
- Prevent disability claims
- Decrease medical costs by promoting healthier lifestyles
- Balance work & personal life