Enhancing Work-Life Balance through Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance programs (EAP’s) have been evolving as a standard practice model since the late 1940’s. They originally were introduced as occupational alcohol programs to address how the misuse of alcohol had a negative impact on productivity and organizational performance. As the years continued, the EAP field expanded as employers recognized that alcohol was not the only issue affecting employees at work.
Employee Assistance Programs are voluntary, confidential programs that help employees work through various life challenges that may unfavorably affect job performance, health, and personal well-being to enhance an organization’s success. Currently, EAP’s address a wide variety of issues, such as workplace conflicts, family matters, financial challenges, mental health and so on. EAP services include assessments, counselling, and referrals for additional support. Many times the services are offered by master-level consultants via telephone, unlimited access to resources and tools online, as well as face to face visits with a consultant to help with short term problems employees may currently be facing.
Employee Assistance Programs can help with Personal Challenges-Big and Small
Child Care and Elder Care Services– matches appropriate provider based on your preferences and criteria. The consultants even go as far as confirming space availability.
Financial Experts– provide help regarding complicated issues such as budgeting, controlling debt, teaching children to manage money, investing for college and preparing for retirement.
Sensitive, Complex Issues– includes personal or work relationships, depression and grief or issues surrounding substance abuse.
Legal Support-includes topics such as debt and bankruptcy, guardianship, divorce, buying a home or information about power of attorney.
Employee assistance programs can benefit an employer in many ways, including lowering medical costs, reducing turnover and absenteeism and engaging higher employee productivity.
The positive findings behind offering these programs have proven consistency in job performance, health and well-being. Life often presents complex challenges and the unexpected can happen at any moment. Having an Employee Assistance Program to rely on can play such an important role in helping employees find that balance between work and life.