There has been much discussion surrounding the concepts of employee wellness and employee engagement in today’s world of work, but are these connected? Does a business benefit from enhanced employee engagement in real terms when it invests in the wellbeing of its employees and how does offering an Employee Assistance counselling programme fit into the mix?
“Does a business benefit from enhanced employee engagement in real terms when it invests in the wellbeing of its employees…”
“…an employee’s personal experience of engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind that reflects their passion and commitment to the job.”
What is employee engagement?
“Employees’ intrinsic interest in their work and the personal meaning that they derive from their jobs are both known to be motivating factors that lead an individual to perform at a high level. Researchers call this heightened motivation, “engagement.” Put another way, an employee’s personal experience of engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind that reflects their passion and commitment to the job.
Engaged employees are known to work proactively, they expand their thinking as the job requires and they actively find ways to increase their skills. They perceive that their own self-interest is aligned with organisational goals. Consequently, they demonstrate resilience, adapt well to change, and are less likely to leave their job than an unengaged employee.”
What is EAP counselling and why is it important to employee engagement?
An Employee Assistance counselling programme is a confidential employer-employee programme that provides support to individuals facing personal or work-related problems. By helping employees to deal with a variety of personal or work-related problems effectively, such counselling leads to improved employee-wellbeing, which, in turn, results in an increase in their levels of engagement and productivity. Furthermore, employees who are able to utilise EAP services are more likely to be motivated to stay with the same organisation for a longer term. Employees feel more connected to an organisation that has offered support during a difficult time as well as seeing this as an important part of their total compensation package.
“An Employee Assistance counselling programme is a confidential employer-employee programme that provides support to individuals facing personal or work-related problems.”
The main features of an EAP counselling service are:
- Accessibility: EAP counselling can be accessed in-person or online. Employees can communicate with a counsellor face-to-face or through video calls, texts or emails to get help.
- Confidentiality: One of the most essential elements of EAPs is their confidentiality. No superior or colleague is entitled to access any information about a co-worker or subordinate from their in-house EAP practitioner or service provider.
- Privacy: Employees who need assistance may want to do so privately and the channels for seeking assistance from an EAP should be accessible discreetly. This increases the credibility of EAPs and employees may be more inclined towards using such a programme.
Benefits of employee counselling
For organisations, disengaged employees translate into slow projects, drained resources and lower profits. Through counselling, EAPs are able to position themselves at the centre of efforts to increase employee-wellbeing so that employees are more likely to make healthier lifestyle choices.
- Professional counselling brings an independent perspective to bear
- It helps employees get a different view of their problems.
- This ultimately helps employees understand things better and to resolve issues quickly, and it helps in better decision-making by employees.
- EAP counselling can improve overall health and wellness. Attending sessions can reduce levels of stress and anxiety and improve an employee’s outlook on life when they need to make life changes.
- EAP counsellors can help an employee overcome a serious obstacle, assessing an employee and referring them on to health care providers who can assist in the longer-term.
“Employee engagement and wellness are both about shielding and nurturing human resources – a company’s most valuable asset.”
Employee engagement and wellness are both about shielding and nurturing human resources – a company’s most valuable asset. More than any other group, today’s millennial cohort is inclined towards workplaces that offer comprehensive healthcare programmes, with EAP among them. This inclination, fuelled by the recent upheaval and workplace changes caused by COVID-19, has hastened the global shift towards organisational cultures that embrace social responsibility, purpose, and meaning in the business world, allowing employees to make healthier lifestyle choices that result in increased productivity and employee engagement.