Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP or EAFP) can be a significant benefit to both employer and staff who are suffering from significant stress.
You have certainly read about it, know someone who is suffering from it perhaps even experienced it yourself – the adverse effects of stress. Almost everyone experiences stress in their lives, and sometimes it is hard not to have it join us in the workplace.
If your work requires that employees be able to operate precision machinery, provide customer service, create or design software or a new device, then you need to be aware of and concerned about the impacts of stress on their work. Not having their “head in the game” can have negative consequences that range from inconvenient to outright dangerous.
Employees who are suffering the stresses of their life situation of simply those arising from modern living are often less productive at work. As an Employer, this is a concern on many levels. Implementing an Employee Assistance Program demonstrates to your employees that you care about their well-being. A well-promoted and managed plan can, over time, boost efficiency and satisfaction among your workforce.
Stress comes in many forms and from many sources, not all of them bad. If a key employee is a new parent and not getting enough sleep, it can lead to stress. Dealing with older sick relatives, or more deeply rooted “personal” issues can all be causes of life and workplace stress.
An Employee Assistance Plan can provide your employees with face-to-face counselling on a wide range of topics including legal and financial issues, parenting resources, or advice for personal and work related problems. Significant value is available to both employees and their family members through no-charge, professional short-term counselling. Trained counsellors can help with issues such as marital difficulties, addiction, bereavement, financial concerns, and much more. The program’s counsellors can also be a tremendous resource for longer-term assistance.
Most EAP providers have extensive websites to research routine matters such as nutrition, healthy living or medications, and will provide e-counselling or telephone counselling for those employees where face-to-face counselling may not be appropriate or desired.
The counselling itself is free of charge to the employees. The only fee charged is a monthly flat fee per covered employee, usually billed as part of your Group Benefits invoice. It is a very affordable way to enhance your workplace satisfaction and productivity.
A properly-designed employee benefit plan can be a powerful tool to satisfy the need for cost containment and at the same time provide employee satisfaction and retention. Click here to find out more about the benefits available.
Benefits continue to be, for the most part, tax-free rewards and incentives you can offer employees. To find out how benefits are currently taxed: click here to find out more.