5 Ways EAP Expertise Improves Your Organization’s Performance

Mark Sagor



EAP improves performance

1.  EAPs improve early identification and intervention for employees with mental health and substance abuse disorders. 30-40% of your employees will experience mental health and/or substance abuse disorders at some point in their lives. Depression accounts for as much medical and disability cost as hypertension, diabetes, back problems and heart disease. The positive impacts of early intervention for an organization include: savings in the medical and prescription cost portion of health benefits, decreased short-term and long-term disability claims and, most significantly, reduced absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover and training costs for replaced workers. EAPs offers access to mental health professionals 24/7. In today’s market for behavioral services, employees who don’t have an EAP may wait weeks before they get to see a professional who is able to offer meaningful assistance.

2.  EAPs help take the load and liability off your managers who are the first people in the organization to see the impact of employee personal problems on work performance. Managers typically want to help employees when employees confide in them about personal problems they are experiencing at home. The problem is that this can lead to some role conflict and can leave managers feeling distressed when their “helping” does not “fix” the employee’s performance problems. An even bigger problem is that managers are stepping well outside their expertise when they offer counseling on personal problems. The EAP allows the manager, on behalf of the company, to offer immediate and expert assistance to the employee with personal issues, without the role-conflict, distress or unwanted liability.

3.  EAPs provide expertise to employees, managers and organizations on the issues of stress which the World Health Organization has called the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Research demonstrates that stress is a leading cause of illness and lost productivity. More employees are absent from work because of stress and anxiety than because of physical illness or injury. The warning signs are evident everywhere: headaches, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, job dissatisfaction, low morale etc. The causes are well known: uncertain job security, blurring of lines between work and family, maintaining productivity with fewer workers,  long commutes, financial uncertainty, time and energy required to care for ailing parents or children, etc. EAP puts a stress expert on your team to improve your organization’s ability to respond strategically to the challenges of this “health epidemic” and provides employees with 24/7 one call access to help for any problem.

4.  EAP services give your employees the gift of time. Personal problems account for 125 hours of lost productivity per employee per year. Your employees scramble to keep up with the complex and multiple demands made on their time by personal and professional obligations. Your EAP is a means of taking stress off of employees by giving them the gift of time. EAP work-life counselors do the leg work and find the resources your employees need to manage virtually any need: household maintenance, dependent care, legal, financial, educational, health, etc. Your employees work hard for you and your EAP works hard for your employees.

5.  EAP services provide a safe channel for managing organizational issues which might otherwise fester. Not all employees are initially comfortable with the idea of “filing complaints.” When there is an issue brewing in your organization around a problem like bullying or harassment you want your employees to have a safe and confidential channel to support resolution. EAP counselors are experts in helping employees deal with organizational issues in a positive manner that respects the interests of all parties and avoids the pitfalls of litigation and retaliation.