Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is part of employee benefit that aims to identify and resolve various personal problems that affect their work performance. With EAP, employers will be able to help a stressed employee, which in turn will help greatly in reducing turnover, increase morale, and improve work productivity.
An EAP provides counselor, resources, and referral to assist the employee and their eligible household member including spouse, children, domestic member, and dependant. EAP is part of employee benefit, which means the employer will pay for the cost up to certain limit, but it will remain confidential where the employer have no full understanding about the real issue dealt by the employee.
Not only provide direct assistance and counseling to the employee and their family, EAP also provides assistance with referrals. In the case where the employee facing an issue that required outside expertise, EAP will help to identify resources that can help with the problem.
Most of EAP providers provide a similar set of services for the employee from counseling, referral, and resources that cover all kind of topic that could cause employee distress.
This includes things such as:
- Family violence
- Job stress
- Relationship issue
- Financial and legal issue
- Mental health issue
- Marriage and family issue
- Interpersonal communication issue
- Health management issue
The kind of counseling given to the employee will be vary depend on the issue itself. For example, in health and caregiving issue, EAP may help with how to manage a disability or medical issue at work or how to get help for the elderly one. When dealing with a family issue, EAP can help with counseling the employee in the matter of marriage, divorce, and even child custody issue.
Remember that EAP is a short-term program. Usually, an EAP provider has set a number of counseling referral session, from 1-3. An EAP didn’t provide long-term service, but it surely helps the employee take the first step and then let the ball rolling.
A personal problem can affect work performance more than people could ever guess. It may lead to miss work, absenteeism, poor performance, bad customer service, and even workplace injuries. If left untreated, it may cause an even bigger problem in the future. EAP could help employee resolve those problems so they can concentrate more on the job and improve their productivity.
Some employee may doubt the program for various reasons. For that reasons, it is very important for the employer to stress out a couple of things when they launch this program in their company:
- The employee didn’t have to pay because it was part of employee benefit.
- Everything is confidential. The counselor is required to keep confidentiality and will not share any specific information to the employer
- EAP service covers a broad range of topic.
A short training session to educate the employee about EAP may require convincing them. The long journey to find a qualified EAP provider and convincing the employee to use it will benefit both parties in the form of the improvement in productivity and high level of work satisfaction.