Summary Definition: A confidential counseling service offered by employers to help employees with personal or work-related problems.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a benefit designed to help employees address personal and professional issues affecting their well-being and job performance. EAPs offer confidential counseling services and resources to help employees manage a wide range of issues, such as stress, mental health concerns, substance use disorders, and work-related conflicts.
Employees can call a confidential number or visit the EAP’s website to receive help from a trained professional, generally at no cost to themselves or their families.
Employee Assistance Programs come in a variety of forms as diverse as the issues and employees they try to support. Some of these:
EAPs are designed to address a wide range of different areas or subjects. These can include, but aren’t limited to:
|Can be expensive depending on the size of the company and how many EAP professionals it hires.||Can help decrease employee turnover and absenteeism.|
|Can require a lot of HR’s time and resources to implement, maintain, coordinate, and promote the program.||Can improve employee wellness, satisfaction, and productivity by reducing stress and addressing workplace incidents.|
|There’s ultimately no guarantee employees will use the services or want to discuss their personal issues.||Can assist recruiting efforts by attracting talent.|
Employers that want to adopt an EAP for their organization need to ask several questions to ensure the one they choose is the right fit.
That last question can be the trickiest and most important, since EAPs aren’t as effective if no one uses them. Moreover, employees might feel nervous about disclosing their personal issues at work.
Emphasizing the safety and confidentiality of an EAP can help calm those nerves and should be among the biggest selling points when rolling out the program at an organization.
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