Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.
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.
- Counselors -- Companies offer access to counselors 24 hours a day, via telephone. They also offer face-to -face meetings with counselors if needed. This means that an employee can contact a counselor on their own time and do not have to do so while at work. So, if Kendra was having problems coping with the stress in her life, she is able to phone a counselor anytime of the day through her company's EAP.
- Confidentiality -- Employers are never notified when an employee uses the employee assistance program. This means that Kendra can use the service knowing that her troubles with stress is completely confidential and will not affect her job.
- Minimizing Escalation -- Because the service is accessible any time of the day, an employee can contact a counselor before a problem escalates into something more serious. This means, Kendra can consult with a counselor before her stress gets so overwhelming that she cannot function at work.
- Variety of Issues -- Employee assistance programs offer help with a large variety of problems, both personal and work related. This means EAPs can help with substance abuse, stress, depression, grief or loss, and marital problems. Even though Kendra's problem is not work related, the EAP allows her to seek help for a personal problem, such as stress.
- Benefits of the Employer -- When employees can seek help with a vast array of issues, it helps to reduce negative effects in the workplace. In other words, if an employee can seek help with personal issues, it can reduce the number of days an employee might miss and creating a more productive workplace.
Employee assistance programs are services offered to employees to help cope with personal and work-related issues. They offer counselors 24 hours a day and can be applied to a variety of problems ranging from marital, substance abuse, and even grief and loss. Some of the benefits include access to counselors, confidentiality, minimizing escalation, and can even benefit the employer as well. Check with human resources to see if your company offers and EAP.
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