STEP 2: THEME DESCRIPTION & TOPICS
The 2022 Eduweek Theme:
Uniting to Advance Employee Wellness
|Expanding EAP and developing new EAP services||
Uniting to advance employee wellness:
Emotional | Psychological | Physical |Financial
|Keeping pace with rapidly changing workplace challenges that require EAP intervention||Looking inward: Critical elements in maintaining an effective, high calibre South African EAP industry|
Various crises in South Africa over the last 27 months have dramatically changed the world of work and affected employee wellbeing. South African employees are having to weather the physical and mental ill-effects of the global pandemic and long-haul COVID-19 symptoms. Distancing has been the trend because of COVID-19, where isolation, fear and suspicion have created barriers between people for the last two years. The knock-on effect of all this has undone decades of work around equality in the workplace, increased gender-based violence, intensified stress and anxiety and eroded employee resilience. Employees need assistance in navigating ongoing change – acclimatising to hybrid workplaces, keeping up with technological advancement, balancing work and their private lives, and avoiding burnout while doing so. It makes sense that wholeness is the ‘new wellness’ going forward. #eap4wholeness
The Employee Assistance industry has a pivotal role in assisting organisations in the South African private and public sector, helping them to overcome catastrophe and thrive through supporting employee health and wellness. In his State of the Nation Address on 10 February 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “A capable state is not only about the quality of public servants and the efficiency of institutions. It is also, fundamentally, about how citizens are empowered to participate…Our country has suffered several damaging blows in recent times. A confluence of forces, many of them outside of our control, has brought us to where we are now. We face steep and daunting challenges. Indeed, we are engaged in a battle for the soul of this country…Let us get to work. Let us rebuild our country. And let us leave no one behind.”
EAPs are nation-building agents, assisting one employee and one company at a time. 2022 marks EAPASA’s 25th anniversary – 25 years in which EAPASA has been working with its members, partners and stakeholders, uniting the employee assistance industry as nation-building agents with a mission to assist and empower employees in the South African workplace. In order to keep pace with change the industry has had to reinvent itself and EAP as a workplace resource in South Africa, as more traditional views of life, health, wellness, work and relationships have fallen away.
We remain united in our purpose, dedicated to building and transforming the EAP industry in South Africa while maintaining its ethics and standards. Through providing an opportunity for learning, collaboration and keeping up to date with changes and innovations, Eduweek is a vehicle that unites the EA industry, having a significant impact on leading and educating EAPs in employee wellness practices.
Please be invited to participate in Eduweek as a contributor who helps to educate your peers and leads the debate in thinking about, and innovating, employee health and wellness.
To make ongoing expansion and innovation a reality it is important that EAP, as an industry:
- are united in purpose #EAPasone #EAPhand-in-hand #EAPunited
- are dedicated to both building the EAP industry and maintaining its standards #EAPbuildingtogether #EAPgrowth&quality
RELEVANT TOPIC IDEAS
1. Growing and innovating EAPs
- Integration of synergistic disciplines
- Expansion of service offerings to suit the new normal
- Best practice – success stories/case studies
2. Dealing with common workplace problems
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
- Gender issues
- Unforeseen crisis
3. New workplace issues facing EAP
- Psychological safety
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Spirituality in the workplace
- Generational blending
- Toxic cultures or leaders
- Ongoing COVID-19 issues: Up-to-date parameters for COVID-19 safety protocols/ The legal parameters
- for mandatory vaccination and boosters / Supporting employees suffering from the effects of long-haul
- COVID-19 symptoms
- The role of remote managers in employee wellness
- Cannabis in the workplace context
- New leadership and management styles for hybrid work practices
- Helping employees navigate change and the new future of work
4. Critical facets in maintaining a healthy EAP industry
- The critical nature of ongoing education
- Raising the bar: Moderating the educational standards of EAP
- Training the trainer
- Compassion fatigue and the need for self-care among EAPs
- Keeping pace with the needs of a rapidly changing workforce
- EAP and private practice- the affiliate space
The presentation topics should:
1. Challenge existing thinking, continuing to demonstrate proven strategies and, also, bringing leading edge thinking that will develop and enhance an EA professional’s knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of each workplace and workplace changes, in order to better serve both client companies and employees.
2. Contribute to solutions and alternatives with respect to up-to-date and innovative interventions, assessments, and referrals as these pertain to employee/family identification, addictions and behavioural health in the workplace, with application to workplace issues resulting from:
- Substance abuse
- Behavioural addictions
- Mental health problems
- Disability management
- Unforeseen crisis
- Distancing and isolation
3. Demonstrate opportunities for collaboration with client organisations (which includes human resources, existing union bargaining units, occupational medicine, and/or organisational consultants)
4. Prepare EA professionals in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – in working with all sectors within diverse employee populations. These include the ageing employee, disability inclusion and LGBTQIA+, which require cultural competence and expanded knowledge, skill and recognition of an ever-evolving and diverse workplace. It is an area where the EA role encompasses working with the individual, as well in providing education and support for the manager and co-workers.
5. Demonstrate EA role and EA service delivery in responding to, steering, and leading opportunities to advance workplace culture through EA knowledge and experience with diverse / special constituencies in the workplace, through disruptive event preparedness, and through an understanding of workplace, regulatory, and social norms.
6. Introduce and demonstrate technology that has enhanced EA impact on the workplace. Outcome measures need to be provided.
7. Provide a direct and measurable link to enhancing overall employee wellness and wellbeing, and organisational culture.