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What is an Employee Assistance Program and What is its Purpose?

What is an Employee Assistance Program and What is its Purpose?

In the United States, there are over 160 million adults employed.

Unemployment is low, and the competition for good employees has never been fiercer. In order to attract the talent they want, companies offer many benefits.

One of these benefits is the Employee Assistance Programs or EAP for short. What is an employee assistance program and what is its purpose? In order to keep pace with the rising trend of employee-related services, let’s unpack the answer to that question.

What Is an Employee Assistance Program and What Is Its Purpose?

An employee assistance program is a benefit program set up to assist employees with personal problems. These personal problems can be non-work related, or the problems can be job-related. The purpose of these programs is to help make sure job performance isn’t impacted by these problems.

Services that are offered include counseling and other assistance programs. A mentally healthy workforce is vital to productivity. When employees are happy, they work harder and take care of customers better.

Setting up Your Employee Assistance Program

If you’re interested in setting up an EAP, it can seem daunting. If you were to contract counselors, the cost would be astronomical. Instead, there are services that you can contact, which will have benefit packages already set up and ready to go.

A great example of this is the Lifeworks EAP. Templates and services are set up that address the main areas in which employees may experience problems. Click the link for more information about what a Lifework EAP can do for you.

How Can an EAP Benefit You?

If you’re stressed, you are not going to be as productive. The demands of the modern working environment apply stress for a variety of reasons. The problem is that these problems can compound and make working less comfortable for everyone.

Using an EAP can give you the tools to confront the problems that are causing you stress. An EAP can’t solve all the problems that stress you, but it does help you seek aid for what you have to deal with. An EAP also expresses that an employer understands the value of employee wellbeing.

Employers that take the needs of their employees seriously benefit from that attention. The relationship between employers and employees should be symbiotic. This means that both benefit from each other. The employer benefits from having productive, happy employees, and the employee benefits from having an employer that cares about their problems.

Reduce Health Risks

Dealing with problems is a great way to lower health risks. Having a lot of pent up anger, confusion, or stress can lead to problems that will impact more than how well you work. Safety is higher, and accidents are less when people aren’t distracted.

Life Outside of Work

Removing the sources of these distractions isn’t always possible. Sometimes we are distracted by serious events in our life, and things can happen to our loved ones. When that does happen, penning up all of the emotion that comes with that can make you distracted.

Safety and security on the job site impact every worker. If someone gets hurt, morale will plummet. An employee assistance program can help to make sure that the sources of that distraction and stress are dealt with in a healthy and productive manner.

To answer the question, “What is an employee assistance program and what is its purpose,” requires an in-depth explanation. The answer is wrapped up in what intrinsically makes us human. Employees aren’t robots and can’t ignore what is happening in their lives outside of work.

Employee Assistance Programs and Business Owners

An employee assistance program doesn’t just work for one group of employees. Everyone at a company will benefit from having access to the resources of the program. From senior management to the newest employee to walk into the door, all can find value in a good EAP.

Having a high-quality EAP will set you apart from other employers. Providing services and taking care of your workers will make people want to work for you. The only way to attract the top talent in your field is to provide top-level benefits.

Retaining and improving the workforce you have is the best way to be profitable. In order to do that, the modern worker needs to know that you have services available in case they need them.

Take Care of the Most Valuable Resource

Having to replace a worker costs thousands of dollars each time. Even if a new worker is hired and trained, they will not start with the same experience that the previous worker had. Not only then does getting new employees cost more money, it weakens your workforce.

Losing an experienced employee because of issues they are facing out of work is even worse for small businesses. Not only does it cost more for a small business to replace help, it also makes a larger impact on their productivity.

Businesses that want to protect themselves from this should consider getting an EAP. Small businesses can be very tight-knit. Don’t suffer through watching a valued employee or friend deal with things that are hurting them professionally. Providing an EAP means that you can help them find what they need to help themselves.

Employee Assistance Programs

The future is bright for those who utilize the services of employee assistance programs. If you have ever asked yourself what is an employee assistance program and what is its purpose, then hopefully this helped answer the questions you had about it.

Not only are employee assistance programs beneficial, they are becoming more common. If you are looking for a job, seek one that has an employee assistance program. If you are a business owner, make sure that you consider providing one so that you aren’t left behind in the job market.

Make the business partnership between employer and employee as strong as you possibly can. Employee assistance programs give you that choice.

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