Boosting productivity, building commitment and managing workplace risk. These are catchy phrases that might get the attention of the human resource manager. However, an owner might respond, how does that benefit me and how does that translate into better profits or higher client retention rates?

For starters, management should note that for every dollar invested in an Employee Assistance Program, an organization should expect to save $5 to $16 in health-related expenses. An effective Employee Assistance Program (EAP) should produce the following positive outcomes:

  • increased staff retention
  • reduced recruiting costs
  • improved quality of work
  • minimized disruption
  • reduction in accidents
  • reduced disability costs
  • reduced absenteeism and increased profits.

How is that for getting management’s attention?

So what exactly is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) anyways? By definition, it is a worksite-based program designed to assist in the identification and resolution of productivity problems associated with employees whose performance /conduct is adversely affected by personal concerns.



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Boosting productivity, building commitment and managing workplace risk.

Stress and personal issues are part of life. Often times, these challenges can seem overwhelming to many of us. When an employee brings these issues to the workplace, their issues, become those of the employer.

Those issues not only impact the productivity of that employee but that of their co-workers as well. Many of these challenges will manifest themselves in a variety of ways that may impact the employee’s ability to manage their work. In many cases, these issues become the precursor for health related problems.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) serves as a voluntary, confidential, short-term counseling and advisory service that connects an employee and their eligible family members to a network of dedicated professionals, who are available to give them assistance 24 hours a day.

These professional counselors consist of childcare, eldercare, youth specialists, financial counselors, as well as lawyers. They are there to help with virtually any concern that affects an employee’s family life, work life or general well-being.

Most EAP’s provide assessment, consultation, support, advice and coaching on a full range of issues, including:

  • personal and work-related stress
  • couple and marital relationships
  • depression and anxiety
  • alcohol and drug misuse
  • family matters
  • bereavement
  • crisis counseling, as well as other concerns.

Many providers are now offering more Web based initiatives, such as E-counseling services and webinars to further increase the penetration of these programs. Other programs offered by EAP’s are; work/life solutions, programs for expectant and new parents, childcare and eldercare, youth-lines, homecare, legal advisory, substance abuse counseling, financial advisory, smoking cessation and career counseling. The newest buzz involves the addition of ‘life coaching’, although this is not standard with most of the current program offerings.

How much does all of this wonderful stuff costs…well, for those plan sponsors insured with ENCON, the program is built into their standard healthcare plan at no cost. As well, RBC/Unum has a telephone advisory program through Ceridian Lifeworks that is built into their long term disability contract. For all other plan sponsors, the program can be had for approximately $5/employee per month. Remember however that the return on investment for these programs is 5X to 16X what the employer spends in premium. If a plan sponsor does not have this program in place, we strongly encourage them to contact us to determine how an EAP can assist them.