An Employee Assistance Program (EAP Program) is a professional service program designed to help employees handle issues that arise daily in both a career setting and their personal life. An EAP provides benefits to employees in the form of counseling and other services. In most cases, these programs also offer resources to managers and employers through organizational development and training. Typically EAPs are set up by the company’s human resources department. Various vendors can help a company set up an EAP.
Most companies have an online portal where employees can review and utilize these special EAP benefits. The most common benefits include mental health counseling, discounts on other services, and sometimes gym memberships or phone bills.
This guide provides insight into what an EAP is and the associated benefits and standard services usually included. Choosing the right program for your organization is essential, as the services provided can directly impact the well-being of your organization. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your employees are provided the assistance and help they need.
Common EAP Program Services
Each company will have different areas of services to offer its employees, but here are some of the standard services EAPs usually include:
Mental Health Counseling
Employees who are stressed or overwhelmed by personal or work situations can’t perform their duties effectively. An employee’s poor mental health can lead to decreased productivity, increased absences, and errors that might lead to safety mistakes. An EAP that provides counseling can be the perfect resource that an individual might need to get help. A solid EAP will have a list of counselors that an employee can choose to contact.
In most cases, the employee’s immediate family members can also have access to counseling through the EAP. This is an essential detail that companies should look into because if the employee has a family member who is having a rough go of it, their productivity can be just as compromised, just as bad.
The 24/7 online and over-the-phone counseling programs have become more popular over the years. It is expected that many EAPs will cover this type of counseling, but companies should go the extra mile to ensure that in-person appointments can also be made for employees.
Personal Life Resources
It’s not just enough to promote a healthy work/life balance. Companies should put processes in place that create a perfect work/life balance. Numerous employees struggle with finding the right mix of working hard for the company and taking time for themselves. Some situations come up in everyday life that sometimes requires additional assistance. Personal life resources are meant to provide employees with the options they need help with.
The most common life situations that employees may need help with are:
- Child care
- Pet care
- Housing services
- Elder/adult care
That’s not to say that the company should pay for each employee’s daycare or pet boarding services. But an EAP could be an excellent opportunity for the company to get a stellar price from vendors offering these services and then promote a great price to employees. This sets up a win for all parties. The company gets a happier, less stressed employee. The employee receives these services at a reduced price. And the providers for these services get repeat business.
Career Advancement Services
This one should go without saying. Every company should invest in the advancement of its employees. It is a good idea to include career advancement programs in EAPs. Special training, classes, or conferences that can help employees learn more about moving up to the next level has numerous benefits. Employees who feel they are trained and appropriately promoted are more likely to stay.
If the company can train and then promote from within, it can help cut down on employee turnover. And every company knows that employee turnover costs money because the hiring process can take much longer than expected.
Update Your EAP with Relocation Services
An excellent way to make your EAP more comprehensive is to include a small range of relocation services for employees to utilize. With so much of the workforce going remote these days, companies are not as willing to pay to relocate employees, but if the company were to partner with a reliable relocation service provider such as Global Mobility Solutions (GMS), then they could add talent mobility benefits to their EAP.
If employees have relocation benefits at their fingertips, they can move to where their family is most comfortable, at a more affordable price, without the company having to pay for it. This could be a good setup for companies in a remote setting.
There are still benefits of working with a relocation management company for companies not in a remote setting. For starters, relocation companies have a long list of reputable real estate agents who can still assist employees who are looking to move within the state. Also, partnering with an RMC can give you options for moving companies within your EAP, so employees who have to find a new apartment or house have some help moving.