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Sometimes, the pressures of life, work and home can get a little bit overwhelming. When this happens, it’s good to know that you have a resource you can rely on, something you can use for guidance, advice and counselling on a range of issues. The best way to provide this guidance and advice to employees in a proactive and confidential manner is with an employee assistance programme, or EAP.
An EAP is a service that helps to lessen the effects of personal issues on workplace performance—and helps to increase engagement, happiness and overall productivity.
Typically, an EAP provides employees with free access to certain services that would leave them severely out of pocket if accessed by themselves. Counselling—via telephone, online and face-to-face—advice on mental health and physical health conditions, financial information, addiction, stress, probate, tenancy and relationship problems are common concerns that an EAP aims to address.
From the perspective of an employer, an EAP also provides management and advice on many important things—management referrals and occupational health, dedicated case management, and qualified manager support. They’ll help plan out strategies for dealing with conflict in the workplace, deliver workshops at an organisation’s premises, and aid in the structured return to work of employees who’ve had a long-term absence due to illness either mental or physical.
A good EAP is proactive, rather than reactive. That is, it offers preventative solutions to wellbeing problems. When an employee is suffering—perhaps with stress, perhaps with a personal issue causing depression—a well-signposted EAP can take the pressure off them. They don’t have to discuss their problems straightaway with a manager, rather they can call a free helpline and receive immediate, actionable advice. When individuals in an organisation are confident that their problems aren’t theirs to face alone, this has an effect of knock-on positivity—a worker’s issues stop bleeding into their work, meaning less stresses for all around them.
When you take out an EAP, the provider will look at the number of employees you have in your care, and will recommend the correct level of service. This means the amount of counselling available, the possibility of external workshops and training, and the methods by which these are delivered—most EAPs offer as a basic service structured telephone and face-to-face counselling.
They’ll provide you and your managerial team with appropriate support—usage information (strictly anonymised so as not to breach confidentiality), literature and materials you can use to promote the service in your workplace. It’s important to make sure that people know the service is available to them for it to have the best effect.
The Independent Review of Mental Health and Employers report Thriving at Work states that as much as £42 billion is lost per year due to mental health issues. When you account and provide for those issues, and make sure you have a solid, proactive solution in process, your return on investment is impressive—and the positivity brought to the workplace is quite possibly an even bigger boon.
If you want to find out more information about our EAP and how it can benefit you and your business, why not book a free demo with one of our wellbeing consultants? Just click here and book a time that suits you.
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