Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
By Marsha Kunz, Director of Human Resources
In Human Resources, the biggest part of the job is taking care of your employees. One benefit that can go a long way, to employees and their family members for little expense is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is designed to offer help for personal and/or professional concerns by providing free, confidential, short-term counseling and personal consultation. Some EAP plans also build in added features to provide work-life resources for issues such as legal and financial consultations and online learning resources.
EAPs consist of a network of trained counselors that can take counseling calls and also refer for further counseling/consultation as needed, based on topic. They can help employees improve or resolve personal difficulties, whether big or small, personal or work-related.
Some examples of concerns addressed by EAPs include:
- family conflict
- relationship issues
- grief and loss
- depression and anxiety
- work-related issues
- alcohol and drug use
- legal and financial issues
The above list is not all inclusive. There are several other concerns that can be addressed by EAPs. Let’s face it: none of us are immune to any of these things, nor are our family members. These issues can cause much stress, distraction and worry, impeding emotional wellness and effectiveness on the job.
By implementing an EAP, a company can provide a CONFIDENTIAL way for its employees to achieve a sense of emotional wellness. Confidentiality is one of the most important features of an EAP. No company official, not even HR, knows which employees use the benefit or for what reason. The company only receives a report of whether the program is being used…for example how many calls or referrals occur in a month or quarter, but not for what reasons. A well-built EAP offers 24-hour, 7 day a week access for employees and immediate family members, and the cost of such a program is minimal. It is definitely an employee benefit that employers should consider.
Marsha R. Kunz Director of Human Resources
Marsha is the Director of Human Resources for the firm. She oversees all of the human resource-related opportunities and challenges that come with a growing firm. She has a thorough knowledge of human resources issues and stays abreast of the latest developments related to employment law compliance, benefits, management/staff training and working environments. In […]