Understanding EAPs: What They Are and Why Companies Should Take Them Seriously
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are offered by businesses to help their employees manage issues like stress, mental health, and well-being. These programs are part of a broad transition in the world of work, as more and more companies aim to provide employees with benefits that support mental well-being, not just physical health.
By participating in an EAP, employees may access stress management resources, financial advice and assistance, and psychiatric help. Registered providers that help administer EAP services include Bupa, AXA PP, Care First, and Spectrum Life.
EAPs in the Age of COVID
EAPs have grown in popularity as employers recognize that mental and physical well-being are equally important to employee health and happiness. By offering EAPs, employers can foster greater productivity and encourage workers to succeed.
As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and sent workers to their home offices, EAPs have become even more critical to supporting employees. Lockdowns and remote work have greatly hindered social interaction both in the office and recreationally. Therefore, employers have been using EAPs to help employees cope with the stress of the pandemic and remain connected with colleagues.
Why EAPs Matter
EAPs can help resolve many issues. For instance, a single parent struggling to balance work and family obligations may be able to find the support they need through an EAP. Similarly, employees dealing with mental health challenges can often turn to EAPs to access counseling services. EAPs can also help resolve conflicts between coworkers. See company health insurance plans from Equipsme for more information.
Firms should take EAPs seriously for multiple reasons. EAPs bring benefits to both employers and employees. For instance, EAPs can improve employee retention. Research shows that 51 percent of employees stay at a particular workplace because of their relationships with their coworkers. EAPs can encourage communication and relationships between coworkers, thereby reducing turnover. EAPs can also show workers their employers care about their mental well-being, which in turn cultivates additional loyalty.
Additionally, EAPs can also help companies save money by reducing turnover and sick day usage. The cost of an EAP can vary by provider, but EAPs typically range between $40-90 (£30-70) per employee. That’s certainly less expensive than the cost of absenteeism and hiring new employees.
It is important to note how many jobs could be retained if employees had access to professional resources that support mental well-being. EAPs offer those resources, making them mutually beneficial to workers and employers alike.
Significant EAP associate members include happiful, PayPlan, The Counselling Foundation, The National Hypnotherapy Society, and Calm People. Consultant members include Enlighten, Vivup, and Hospitality Action.
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