Getting the best out of your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

What is an EAP?

An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a service that provides fully confidential advice, practical information, support and counselling to employees on a wide range of personal and work-related issues, including financial and legal advice, stress management and wellbeing. An EAP can be made available to all employees no matter when or where, any time, any day, with support just a telephone call or a click away.

Why do companies need an EAP?

The benefits of having an EAP are clear to see – easy and free access to confidential advice and support, access to qualified counsellors and reassurance in tackling any life issues. But an EAP isn’t just for employees, employers can benefit too. Employers stand to benefit from a reduced risk of stress-related sickness absence, an increase in productivity and from clearly signalling a company’s commitment to meeting its duty of care. Staff who feel supported by their employer, and who are happy in their employment, will deliver productive work. Employee welfare builds respect and trust and this translates into long-term business success.

What services does an EAP include?

EAPs can offer a range of both emotional and practical advice and support on a range of topics including stress and anxiety, bullying and harassment, legal rights, money management and debt, health and wellbeing, domestic violence, bereavement and family and matrimonial issues.

Here at Occupational Health Services, we have partnered with Life and Progress, a well respected EAP service. Their EAP is available around-the-clock either over the telephone or online, as well as face-to-face counselling if necessary. Services offered include 24/7 access to confidential advice and support, access to fully qualified counsellors, practical information and professional guidance.  Their full-cover EAP services can also provide employees with access to mental fitness app, MyMindPal, online shopping discounts with Wider Wallet and a 24/7 accessible GP helpline.

EAP anonymized reports can also show how many members of staff were referred for counselling sessions and whether these were over the phone or during face-to-face meetings.

Promote your EAP

Employees should be fully and properly informed about all of the services available within the EAP and constantly reminded that help is just a phone call away. Many employees won’t be aware that their employer has an EAP because it isn’t being promoted well enough. If you have an EAP, tell your employees about it. Use leaflets, posters, the intranet and company newsletters to raise awareness of your EAP and the services it offers. Promotional activity should be ongoing to ensure your employees are up to speed with the range of help and advice available to them for free.

Are you looking to offer an EAP for your employees? Visit our EAP page here where you can find out more information.

You can always talk to us to ask for advice or to discuss your EAP in more detail.