The Benefits of Implementing an EAP – Employee Assistance Programme
What is EAP? An EAP is a workplace wellness programme.
The goal of an EAP is to provide employees with the tools and resources that they need to improve their mental health and help balance their work/life.
According to the CIPD:
“Mental health-related absence is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence in UK workplaces”
“Employers will need to adapt a range of measures to support employees experiencing poor mental health as a result of COVID-19 and its effects on society and the economy. This support will be required in the short term (such as during the return to the workplace for office workers) as well as over the longer term.”
“It is well known that many employees do not feel comfortable in speaking up about poor mental health; this is unlikely to change following the pandemic.”
An EAP offers can be a great tool for all people managers to use in the workplace, to provide the right support to their employees. Often it is a case of “Signposting” employees to the right support available.
An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is usually an employer-paid scheme that lets employees contact an independent adviser on a confidential basis.
An EAP will often offer a range of support, including face to face, telephone and online. But not all programmes are the same.
EAPs are an investment and should not be seen as just a box-ticking exercise. In an increasingly tight labour market, employers need to stand out as being worthy of attention. As part of a benefits package for employees, a thoughtful EAP can make the difference between landing the candidate you want and losing them.
However, a well-managed EAP goes beyond recruitment; It can help you improve retention, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, minimise downtime, and boost company reputation.
What do we mean by well managed? The way an EAP is launched and used in an organisation needs to be considered. Employers should work on the branding of the support and consider how it plays into the culture of the organisation. An EAP can only be called a success if employees use it when they need it. The confidentiality aspect is key and employees should have a range of ways of accessing the support, for example via their manager, via a company intranet, via contact details in a company newsletter or noticeboard.
This will ultimately benefit the employer by creating a workforce with increased productivity, improved retention rates and “happier” or more satisfied employees.
The new Clover Wellbeing EAP offering provides employees with free, confidential help and information for issues at home or at work, with qualified counsellors and specialist teams of lawyers, wellbeing specialists, financial and debt counsellors all accessible via a telephone helpline.