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Why an EAP is an Important Piece of an Employee Benefits Program

Posted by David Peasall, VP, Benefits and Human Resources on Oct 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM
David Peasall, VP, Benefits and Human Resources

employee assistance program boss employeeIf you’re considering implementing an employee benefits program for your staff or adding to an already-existing employee benefits program, you may want to consider the importance of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs help employees overcome personal issues — issues that carry over to work if not effectively addressed.

There was a time when EAPs dealt mostly with issues related to alcohol and substance abuse. These days, EAPs offer a wide range of confidential counseling services, everything from domestic violence and depression to wellness programs that deal with weight management.

The following are just some examples of the various types of counselors who offer services through EAPs:

  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Attorneys
  • Financial Advisors
  • Eldercare Specialists
  • Childcare Specialists

Recent trends show that wellness programs are cost-effective benefits that can significantly improve an employee’s physical and psychological health, improve morale and productivity, and reduce the impact on the employer’s health insurance program. That’s especially important when you consider the billions of dollars spent every year on treating preventable conditions related to tobacco, diabetes and obesity. When employees are healthier, it also can reduce the costs associated with absenteeism and reduced productivity. As a standard, wellness programs include exercise and relaxation classes, weight management, stress management and sometimes, company-wide incentives.

In addition, EAPs can provide assistance in areas that other benefit plans may not cover, such as concerns with relationships and family issues, balancing work and legal or financial problems. Here is a list of some other services offered by EAPs:

  • Legal Advice and Services
  • Childcare Resources and Referrals
  • Eldercare Consultation
  • Academic Resources on a Variety of Educational Issues
  • Adoption Resources
  • ID Theft Recovery
  • Pet Care Services and Referrals
  • Relocation Resources
  • Concierge Services

Why Should Employers Consider Adding an EAP?

1. Employers can add an EAP to achieve multiple objectives, including the following:

  • To provide a confidential counseling resource
  • To provide a human resource consultation tool for managers (employers can recommend employees utilize the EAP for a work performance issue but the counseling session remains confidential)
  • To provide a cost-effective training and education resource for the entire organization
2. Employers can add an EAP to the employee benefits program simply because it’s good for the company as a whole. Some employers want to provide their employees and family members with this resource because it’s the right thing to do. In return, employers hope employees will show care and loyalty to the company.

Statistics show EAPs tend to improve employee morale and lead to a more energetic, positive and productive workplace, reduce employee turnover, and reduce overall healthcare costs. The bottom line is that healthy employees work better, and that’s a win-win for everyone.

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Topics: Employee Benefits

David Peasall, VP, Benefits and Human Resources

Written by David Peasall, VP, Benefits and Human Resources

David Peasall joined FrankCrum in 2010. Since that time, he has served as the Vice President, Benefits and Human Resources overseeing human resources, employee benefits, and group health sales. Serving in the Army, he began his 20+ year career in human resources and benefits administration and has held several management positions within the corporate and public human resources environments overseeing employee benefits sales and administration, recruitment, compensation, employee relations, organizational development, and compliance. He has the nationally recognized designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), PPACA certification from NAHU, and a Bachelor’s degree from Barry University with a dual major in Human Resources Management and Health Services Administration. He has written for the Society for Human Resources Management, HR Insight, Proyecto Magazine, and for online publications in the restaurant and health care industries. While not at work, this Florida native loves spending time with his family, preferably boating, fishing, and diving the beautiful waters of Florida.

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