If you have been shopping for employee health benefits, you may have been hearing about Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and the value they can bring to your employees. But at the end of the day, business decisions must have value for the business too! Turns out there are many bottom-line benefits to offering an EMP to your team.
According to the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an EAP is “a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.” Once a program designed in the 1940s to help businesses manage employee challenges stemming from alcohol abuse, it has expanded to cover issues arising from work, home and community.
How Does Offering Employee Assistance Programs Benefit My Business?
The OPM notes a number of business benefits offered by an EAP:
- improves productivity and employee engagement
- enhances employees’ and dependents’ abilities to successfully respond to challenges
- develops employee and manager abilities in managing workplace stress
- reduces workplace absenteeism and unplanned absences
- supports employees and managers during workforce restructuring, reduction-in-forces, or other workforce change events
- reduces workplace accidents
- minimizes the likelihood of workplace violence or other safety risks
- supplements disaster and emergency preparedness
- mitigates the effect of disruptive incidents, such as workplace, injury, or other crises
- facilitates safe, timely, and effective return-to-work for employee short-term and extended absences
- reduces employee turnover and related replacement costs
Reducing Employee Healthcare Costs Through Employee Assistance Programs
As we have discussed before, health insurance is one of the most valued employee benefits. Small businesses face real hurdles in offering group health programs, with cost being one of them. Therefore, possibly one of the most important impacts of offering an EAP, is that it reduces healthcare costs associated with stress, depression, and other mental health issues.
Dawn Lang, owner of Prescriptive Health Solutions, LLC and our Wellness Associate, has helped many Greater Indianapolis businesses set up EAPs.
“The ability to get employees the care they need quickly through coordinated services within their benefit plan is a large factor in reaping the benefits of offering an EAP. I often see employees using services outside of their Program, which can increase costs for them and their employers. Also, employees waste time trying to find help that is already at their fingertips – 20% of employees at mental health risk are unaware of mental health counseling through their EAP! Therefore, employers must educate their employees on the resources available to them and their families within an EAP to fully realize the benefits of offering one. Creating an atmosphere where asking for help is safe and encouraged will go a long way in achieving this goal.”
Questions about how to go about offering Employee Assistance Programs? Reach out to the Wharton & Power Insurance Team. Send us an email or give us a call at 317.663.4138.