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Employee Assistance Programs

In: Business and Management

Submitted By risslineberry
Words 1999
Pages 8
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Purpose 3
Methods and/or Procedures 5
Materials and Equipment 6
Follow-Up 6
Costs 6
Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………7
References……………………………………………………………………………………….8 Purpose

The Human Resource Department of Atain Insurance Company (The Company) is requesting a proposal to its Board of Directors to implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP will be offered as part of our comprehensive benefit package to all of its employees and their qualified dependents.

An EAP is a confidential counseling service, paid for by the employer that is designed to help employees and family members who have personal problems as well as work problems that can interfere with their work and family life (Attridge, 2010).

Employees and family members will be eligible to receive free counseling for (Attridge, 2010):
• Stress
• Alcohol and drug problems
• Legal and financial problems
• Emotional problems
• Child/Elder care
• Grief and traumatic events

The objective of the EAP will be to (Attridge, 2010):
• Reduce cost of medical benefits
• Reduce turnover
• Reduce absenteeism
• Increase productivity
• Improve efficiency
• Reduce lost-time accidents
• Increase overall wellness of employees

We propose to contract this service out to an outside vendor that will be more qualified to handle the counseling.

Benefits, implementation and costs of this program will be thoroughly presented within this proposal. Scope

What the company would like to accomplish with implementing an Employee Assistance Program is to protect the health and safety of our workforce; attract and maintain talent; and achieve positive financial performance (Christe, Kirkharlow, 2007). We want to be able to catch a problem before it becomes too big and negatively impacts productivity. The majority of large U.S. companies offer EAP to their employees and family members (Jacobson, 2010).

The manifestation of personal or professional problems in the workplace can have wide ranging effects on our organization. Please consider the following facts (fsaj.org):
• Personal problems can decrease employee production by as much as 25%.
• Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress from personal, professional and financial issues.
• 30% of employees feel overwhelming stress about their finances.
• Alcohol abuses is estimated to cost businesses $87.6 billion annually in lost productivity.
• The loss of productivity due to drug use is $128.6 billion annually.

Protecting health and safety of our employees can be done by identifying, assessing and referring our employees that may have mental health or substance abuse problems. By helping our employees with these issues will lead to a healthier, productive workplace. This will also lead to a significant reduction in our medical costs due to early identification and treatment of individual mental health and substance abuse problems (Office of Disability Employment Policy).

Personal problems, such as work related stress, marital or family, and financial problems issues affect almost everyone. These problems can lead to poor employee performance, leading to lower productivity; strained relationships with coworkers; and frequent abscesses or accidents (Margulie, 2008). An EAP will help our employee’s sort out their problems that may be causing them trouble in the workplace. They will be able to get professional psychological counseling to assist them. The result will be healthier, more productive employees with improved relationships at work and home.

We want to attract and maintain the best employees. Prospective employees will be looking for an EAP to be part of their benefits package (Employee Benefit News, 2011). If we offer on the job education about stress management, adolescent challenges, elder care and financial planning the more likely we will be seen as their number one choice of employment (Christie, Harlow, 2007). An EAP has become an alternate choice to discipline for managers. An employee can be referred by management for drug and or alcohol abuse. This can retain employees that otherwise could have lost their job (Christie, Harlow, 2007). Studies show that if an employee is helped on the job with issues the more likely they are to stay with that company.

EAP does not just provide services to employees but will also provide services to us as an organization. Those services will include (Office of Disability Employment Policy):
• Education on handling mental health, stress and addiction in the workplace;
• Addressing workplace violence;
• Guidance on communicating in difficult situations, such as mergers or layoffs;
• Absence management;
• Meeting needs of certain workers, such as veterans returning to work.

These services will be provided to our employees and our organization by an outside vendor. EAP services will be available online, interactive assessments of drug and alcohol abuse, stress levels and depression; online interactive scenarios that teach managers to assess troubled employees; webinars and podcasts on various topics. Services for one-on-one counseling will be available over the phone or in-house sessions at the office.

Methods and/or Procedures

Once we have picked a provider, the provider will work with us to design a package that will meet our needs. The components that will be worked into our program are (Employee Assistance Programs):

1. Determine the needs of our company by questionnaires, surveys, interviews with management and focus groups.
2. A policy will be written that defines the EAP’s relation to us and describe that the program is confidential and state the scope and limitations of the provider.
3. Supervisors will be educated on the key elements of the EAP, how to recognize a troubled employee, how to document, intervene, and refer individuals to the EAP.
4. All employees will attend an orientation to provide them with the features and benefits of the program, and procedures for accessing the service.
5. An EAP counselor will be assigned to a member of our Human Resource Department to act as our liaison to develop an ongoing, trusting relationship with mangers, supervisors and management.
6. EAP access will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
7. EAP counselor will provide confidential and timely problem identifying and assessment services, help develop a plan of action and provide short term counseling service.
8. EAP counselors will follow up to determine that the situation is being properly addressed, if matter is resolved, or if there is a need for additional resources.
9. Consultations when needed with managers and supervisors in dealing with work related issues.
10. Human resources and the EAP provider will evaluate the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of its service.
11. Promotion of the program will be done with in the company. We will do this by posting on our intranet, posters and handouts.

It will take two months to assess and pick a provider. Once a provider is selected it will take three months to educate our staff and roll out the program.

Orientation for employees will be over the internet via a webinar and they can take it within a two week time of initial rollout. Going forward it will be part of new employee orientation.

Materials and Equipment

Implementing this program will require minor resources after the initial purchase of the service.

All employees will need to have internet access to enter the providers’ site. Our employees will also need outgoing phone privileges. Two offices will be designated for onsite or over the phone therapy sessions. We will use available conference rooms for any additional training. We will need to develop a section on our intranet to educate about the EAP.

Our provider will provide the majority of the resources. The call center will be at their location and they will hire licensed professionals. They will also abide by all HIPPA laws and all sessions are confidential.

Qualifications

The head of our Human Resource department has implemented successful EAP’s in the past. I have thoroughly researched many accredited sites for costs and benefits of implementing this program. We will mainly rely on the qualifications and expertise of the provider we end up choosing for guidance.

Follow-Up

The provider will provide us with quarterly statistics in how the program is going. Six months after the program beings we need to analyze our absent rating and after a year the medical costs we have saved. If the results are to our liking this program should be rolled out to the remaining 36 branch offices.

Costs

Identifying workers with emotional and or substance abuse problems and providing interventions has a positive payoff for the Company. The fact that most medium and large organizations have some sort of EAP is evidence that this proposition has been largely accepted (Employee Assistance Plan).

Monthly premiums will vary based on the plan selected. Premiums will be based on one-five-session model. Issues that will determine the cost are: number of employees, drug test policy, family coverage, location, type of business, and government regulations (Arlene Group)

Below is an average of EAP cost based on number of employees annually (EAP Cost):

Number of Employees Cost Range $
More than 5,000 14-25
1,000-5,000 17-39
500-1,000 21-36
250-500 23-45
100-250 24-60
26-100 29-75

As you can see we will be in the $23-$45 range upon initial implementation. If we roll out to all the branches the price will be lower at $21-$36 per employee.

There will also be small additional costs for administration and communication of the program.

The savings will out weight the cost of implementing the EAP. Studies have shown that for every dollar spent your receive four dollars back (Jacobson, 2010). We will receive better attendance, lower medical costs, increase productivity and increase effectiveness.

Summary

The Company would like to implement an Employee Assistance Program. This will become an added feature of our current benefits package.

Our employees and their family members will receive free counseling for stress, alcohol and drug problems, legal and financial problems, emotional problems, child and elder care, and for grief and traumatic events.

There are tremendous benefits with having an EAP. These benefits include: decrease in our medical costs, decrease in our employee turnover, and reduction in absenteeism, increase in productivity and efficiency, and increase in overall wellness of our employees.

With the services of an outside provider all of our needs will be at a low cost.

Can we really afford not to have an Employee Benefits Program? References

Attridge, M. (October, 2010). 20 years of cost research: taking productivity path to ROI: this promising strategy can be accomplished with far fewer operational costs than traditional claims-based roi studies – and in far less time. The Journal of Employee Assistance. p8. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.
Christie, J and Harlow, K. (July 2007). Presenting the business case: business leaders want to know what types of EAP will give them the best return on investment. The Journal of Employee Assistance. p21. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.
EAP costs. (2011). Corporation Against Drug Abuse. Retrieved from www.you-can-learn-basic-employee-rights.com/eap-costs
Employee assistance programs. (2011). Care Giver Resource Center. Retrieved from http://www.caregiverresourcecenter.com/employee_assistance_programs.htm
Employee assistance program (EAP). (June 1, 2011). J.J. Keller’s Human Resources ez Explanations. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.

Employee assistance programs for a new generation of employees. Defining the next generation. (January, 2009). Office of Disability Employment policy. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/odep/documents/employeeassistance.pdf
Facts. (2011) Arlen Group. Retrieved from http://www.arlengroup.com/facts/fact_eap.pdf
Jacobson, J. (October 2010). An Allied Professional for Work/Life. The Journal of Employee Assistance. p30. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.
Margulies, S. (July 2008). Divorce, presenteeism, and medication: divorces and other family disputes can prevent employees from giving full attention to their jobs. The Journal of Employee Assistance. p12. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.
Strength in numbers: maximize benefits ROI by coordinating EAP, work-life programs. (April 15, 2011). Employee Benefit News. 25.4 p14. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.
Taranowski, C. (January 2009). Advocating for a positive workplace: EAP’s can play a leadership role in helping employers promote employee well being and identify and enhance workers’ existing strengths. The Journal of Employee Assistance. p7. Retrieved from GeneralOne File.

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