While employees each have their own personal reasons for prioritising their personal wellbeing, employers generally support the wellbeing of their workers to maximise productivity (and reduce healthcare costs). Every organisation wants healthy, happy employees who are able to give their best. However, employees carry their life situations around with them no matter where they go. Personal pressure can hurt their engagement and productivity. The fundamental goal of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) is to support employees in making all aspects of their lives happier, healthier and more manageable, and so support their productivity at work.
“…employees carry their life situations around with them no matter where they go. Personal pressure can hurt their engagement and productivity.”
Here is some insight into how employees, management and whole organisations benefit from EAPs, with the ultimate goal of supporting productive employees who thrive which, in turn, helps the organisation to thrive.
“EAPs are workplace initiatives that help to boost productivity by assisting employees in navigating and overcoming various negative personal issues…”
Employees benefit from access to EAPs
Progressive organisations are concerned for the whole-person health and wellbeing of their employees, both within and outside of the workplace. EAPs are workplace initiatives that help to boost productivity by assisting employees in navigating and overcoming various negative personal issues – helping to ensure that employees are present and fully engaged while they are at work and, also, that they are living their most balanced and fulfilled personal lives.
Modern EAPs offer a wide variety of programmes that can assist with employees’ issues, which can lead to them grappling with substance abuse, stress, anxiety and depression, financial difficulties and marital strife, among other issues. For EAPs to be successful, the entire workforce, from the highest to the lowest echelons, must be aware of the different services and benefits at their disposal. Another factor critical to their success is that EAPs should be culturally relevant to the workplace they are supporting – from top to bottom. In recent years, EAPs have expanded the scope of their counselling services even further, to help workers overcome the negative effects of wide-ranging up-to-the-minute issues. For example, those born out of the advent of the Digital Era and, even more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Management benefits from access to EAPs
Utilising EAPs not only helps employees. It is a tool that can help managers to be more effective and efficient in their people-management. For example, if an employee consistently arrives late for work, it could be caused by what turns out to be a seemingly insurmountable personal issue. In this case, managers can suggest the employee use the organisation’s EAP to help the employee resolve the issue that is causing them to be late. In certain instances, perhaps where disciplinary measures are the next step, managers can first make a mandatory referral to the organisation’s EAP for employees who are in contravention of company policy or are struggling to perform to the required standard. For example, in the event of a positive drug screen or an ongoing performance problem not resolved through previous efforts, depending on your organisational policy, you may make the employee’s involvement with the EAP a condition of continued employment.
Organisations benefit from EAP knowledge and insights
EAPs can help executives and business owners gauge the wellbeing of an entire workforce. An EAP can provide important information about what issues are most prevalent, as well as providing information on ongoing trends for programme usage. Understanding what issues are affecting employees and their wellbeing is critical to developing the right action plan for addressing employee needs. When employees know they can count on their employer to help them navigate life’s difficult issues, they develop a deeper connection with the company and feel more engaged in their work. In this way EAPs are an effective tool for creating a culture of caring and support. Working with EAPs also helps further learning and development initiatives through education on a wide range of issues affecting today’s workforce.
“Understanding what issues are affecting employees and their wellbeing is critical to developing the right action plan for addressing employee needs.”
In a nutshell
Your employees being mentally and physically healthy is in your best interest as an employer. When employees are healthy, they have more opportunity to be engaged with their work and engaged employees tend to deliver better work performance and higher productivity.
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