STEP 2: THEME DESCRIPTION & TOPICS 2023 | EAPA-SA

STEP 2: THEME DESCRIPTION & TOPICS 

The 2023 Eduweek Theme:

NEW GENERATION WORKPLACE

#proactiveEAP #designingtheworkplace #hybridworkplace #redefiningwork #workplaceculture

 


Industry Level

  • New Generation Workplace

Organisational Level

  • Redefining work and the workplace – and the thriving employee within it
  • A focus on leadership and management of the hybrid workforce

Introspection

  • Looking inward:  Critical elements in maintaining a healthy, high calibre EAP industry

We started 2022 on an already exhausted and bruised note. Last year was a mad scramble as the world reopened after setbacks caused by Covid and its safety protocols. EAP Practitioners, and organisations within the EAP industry, joined client organisations, HR departments, allied specialists and the world in making up time and trying to catch up on other losses. 

While organisations engaged in the catch-up frenzy, Employee Wellness practitioners tried to support leaders, teams, employees and their families through increasing mental and physical health burdens, despite themselves experiencing high levels of burnout and compassion fatigue. 

In 2023, it’s time to breathe, pause and reflect on what we have to rebuild within our lives and the economy. Some of those in EAP have already had the opportunity to slow down a little. EAPA-SA believes that going forward, the mad scramble can give way to exploring and implementing lessons learned and so pave the way to a New Generation Workplace. Mad catch-up can give way to quality control. We can pause to take stock of where we are now, because we have adjusted somewhat to the disruption and a new reality. We can create a new vision … a new path going forward. 

Introduction

In a VUCA world and workplace, full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, what are the things that we can depend on to build a new generation workplace, to assist supporting healthy and well employees build a new workplace? 

  • What elements are reliable and stable – permanent EAP industry pillars that we should build upon? 
  • What elements are fluid that we need to make provision for?
  • What foundational elements remain?
  • What elements are brand new?

RELEVANT TOPIC IDEAS

Industry Level

1. New Generation Workplace

  • Wellness – the new metric to understand employees as part of employee experience
  • Technology & Innovation
      • Platform-based solutions
      • The rise of Artificial Intelligence – machine learning, ChatBOTS
  • Hybrid work – tips on effective remote working, performance metrics and IODs when working from home, parenting, managing home disruptions, ethics, being flexible in regard to changing work environments (in light of the energy crisis etc.)
  • Shortening the work week – the 4-day work-week as related to health and wellbein
  • The Great Resignation

 

Organisational Level

2. Redefining work, the workplace and the thriving employee within it

  • GBV
  • Bereavement / trauma
  • Incapacity Metrics – long COVID, functional capacity evaluation, fitness for duty
  • Addiction – substances, technology etc.
  • Workplace Bullying
  • Fitness / nutrition – eating for immunity
  • Sleep health
  • Mental Health – proactive perspective, emotional and social fitness, mental health toolkit, social intelligence, invisible disabilities e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, mental illnesses, social media, connection between food, mood and cognitive health (Charlotte)
  • Intelligence – understanding YOU – IQ, EQ, emotional, social / relationship, spiritual intelligence.
  • Resenteeism – including quiet quitting and disengaging
  • Spirituality at work
  • Spirituality in practice

 

Organisational Level

3. Focus on leadership and management

  • Diversity and inclusion
      • Gender
      • Disabilities
      • Will DEI be impacted negatively in workplaces as those who work on-site may be the ones being promoted? Research has shown that women and people of colour prefer to work from home as opposed to white men.
  • Conflict Mediation
  • Detoxing workplace culture
  • Building enabling workplaces/cultures – gratitude, creating happiness,
  • Occupational Health & Safety – including incapacity
  • Financial Wellness – planning for recession, long-term economic impact of COVID
  • Leadership – authentic, compassionate and how do we achieve this by automating managerial tasks because of increasing remote work? Perhaps by automating, we create more space for managers to build human relationships?
  • Team health
  • Cannabis in the workplace context
  • Mentorship and succession planning

 

Introspection

4. Looking inward – Critical EAP elements

  • Clinical governance / supervision
  • Ethics
  • EAP vs Clinical work – professional boundaries, practical differences, triple client focus, levels of intervention / care – containment, problem identification, counselling, therapy – be more explicit on differences in scope.

The presentation topics should:

1. Challenge existing thinking, while continuing to provide proven strategies to develop and enhance an EA professional’s knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of each workplace, 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:

  • Trauma
  • Substance abuse
  • Behavioural addictions
  • Mental health problems 
  • Disability management
  • Resenteeism

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)for working with all variations of diverse employee populations – including the aging employee, disability inclusion and LGBTQI+- which requires cultural competence and expanded knowledge, skills and recognition of an ever-evolving and diverse workplace; and 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 well-being, and organisational culture.