Employee Assistance Program: Definition & Benefits

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

In this lesson we will learn about employee assistance programs or EAPs. We will define the term and discover the many personal and workplace problems that can be helped through an EAP. We will then discuss the benefits of EAPs and conclude with a summary and a quiz.

A Beginning Look at Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Meet Kendra! Kendra has always been a happy person. She has a great job, a great family, and a large circle of friends. However, lately, she has been so overwhelmed with stress that it has begun to affect many aspects of her life, including her job performance. You see, Kendra has a job that requires her to stay very focused, and, with a lot of personal issues currently on her mind, she has missed deadlines and numerous days of work. A co-worker of hers approached her one day and told her to look into the company's employee assistance program to help her cope and handle her overwhelming stress. Because Kendra loves her job, she decides to take her coworker's advice and learn what type of counseling, referrals, or services the employee assistance program could offer her.

Employee Assistance Program Defined

So you may be wondering, what is an employee assistance program, or EAP for short? Well, it is a voluntary program that offers assessments, counseling, and referrals for employees that are experiencing personal problems that might affect their job performance, health and/or well-being. Some of the types of personal issues include both mental and emotional issues, such as substance abuse, stress, family problems, grief or losses, and psychological problems or disorders. EAPs can also help employees with any workplace problem, like a trauma or emergency situation, or any type of violence. Employees should check with human resources to see if an EAP is offered.

The Benefits of Employee Assistance Program

In this section we will explore the many benefits of EAPs. Because every one of us is faced with some sort of personal problem at one time or another, EAPs are a great resource to help an employee cope with and handle those problems before they begin to impact his or her job. The following is a list of some common benefits of EAPs.

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