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Employee Assistant Programs

In: Business and Management

Submitted By milky21
Words 518
Pages 3
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Employee Assistance Programs:
(EAPs) are employee benefit programs offered by many employers. EAPs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being. EAPs generally include short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members.
Services:
Employee and their immediate families may use EAPs to manage situations they are facing in their personal lives. There are special EAP counselors that are there to provide assessments, support, and referrals for assistance including but not limited too; substance abuse, emotional distress, major life events, healthcare, legal concerns, and aging parents.
EAP services are provided to employees at no cost, pre-paid by employer. The EAP services are generally maintained by a third-party contractor, which provide their own lawyers, counselors, travel agents, and childcare providers.
Benefits:
Some studies indicate that offering EAPs may result in various benefits for employers, including lower medical costs, reduced turnover and absenteeism, and higher employee productivity. Critics of these studies question the scientific validity of their findings, noting small sample sizes, lack of experimental control groups, and lack of standardized measures as primary concerns. Proponents, however, argue that the consistency of positive findings across studies in different service sectors denote at least some positive effect of programs, even if the most effective components of such programs have not been determined. EAPs may also provide other services to employers, such as supervisory consultations, support to troubled work teams, training and education programs, and critical incident services.
The provision of employee assistance services has established business benefits, including increased productivity of employees and decreased absenteeism.
Benefits for Supervisors:
EAP is a valuable resource for assisting management with individual and organizational concerns. As a manager, your job is to bring out the best in your employees. Employees are people, and people can suffer from problems that hinder their performance in the workplace. Getting expert help to assist workers in solving their personal problems is simply good business. The EAP is available to provide confidential and expert consultation to management in a variety of areas including: * Effectively talking with employees about their performance problems * Assisting with ideas to reinforce acceptable behavior and performance * Discussing strategies for difficult communications with employees * Managing conflict among employees and in the workplace * Assistance in managing threats of violence * Response to critical incidents, including: sudden death of a coworker, homicide, accidents, earthquakes, and other sudden and unexpected terrible events that affect the workplace.

Conclusion:
The use of the EAP is voluntary for yourself and employees. Supervisors cannot force an employee to seek assistance. However, the process of recognizing problem situations and responding with an EAP referral is a normal and expected supervisory task. The supervisor’s primary responsibility is to maintain a productive work environment and to promote employee development. Referral to EAP helps accomplish both. There is a greater chance for success the sooner there is interaction of communication between employees and human resources when there is a need for EAP services.

Referenced: http://www.dopky.gov/EAP/contracted, http://www.dol.gov/odep/documents/employeeassistance.pdf

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