EAP Matters.

LifeMatters is dedicated to helping over 2.2 million individuals improve their wellbeing and 325 organizations improve productivity and safety, from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses. We measure and report our impact utilizing validated tools and client satisfaction ratings. Below, our experts weigh in on key topics related to wellbeing, productivity and safety in the workplace.

Categories:     Wellbeing     Productivity     Safety

A high-quality employee assistance program can help your company attract and retain top talent with an enhanced benefits package. It can also provide on-demand support to managers and relieve some of the pressure on your HR team during times of crisis.

That’s the promise, but how do you find an EAP vendor that lives up to it?

If your company already has an EAP, you might be frustrated at investing money into a program that few employees use. Or, perhaps you aren’t certain if you can rely upon your EAP to support your HR team when they need it the most – in high-profile consultations or crisis situations.

If you’re shopping for your company’s first EAP, you’ve seen the options and you’ve seen how similar they all appear. However, if you ask the right questions, you’ll find that programs that appear similar on the surface are often dramatically different in their processes and capabilities.

As a manager or human resources professional, your employees are looking to you for leadership when a traumatic event occurs at your workplace. Who can you look to?

No one ever wants — or expects — the worst to happen. But sadly, some things are out of our control:

The death of an employee, at or outside the workplace
An injury-causing accident at work
Natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, or wildfires
A workplace shooting
A robbery

(The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Response mentions a few more examples in this helpful article.)

Without a timely, well-organized response, any of these events can throw a company and its workforce into chaotic disarray. Confusion, fear and anger run rampant. Morale drops, productivity declines and your company’s reputation with customers, partners and potential new talent can take a serious hit.

That’s not to mention potential legal liabilities, lawsuits or expensive settlements.

How can your company survive the initial shock of a traumatic event? How can you restore an environment in which employees feel safe?

For many companies, the answer is their employee assistance program (EAP). So it’s no surprise the U.S. government, in its manager’s handbook, “Handling Traumatic Events,” mentions employee assistance programs 21 times. “Critical incident response” is also one of the three high-value EAP services mentioned in our article from earlier this year.

You’ve decided your company’s current employee assistance program just isn’t cutting it. Maybe the EAP vendor let you down when you needed it most, during and after a traumatic workplace event. Maybe you’re not confident your EAP is giving your company the most value for its money.

Whatever triggered your EAP shopping, how can you be sure your next EAP will be truly worth the investment, not just empty promises under a different brand name?

Your organization’s health benefits spend could climb by 4.3 percent this year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s after a 3.8 percent bump last year.

Costs are rising for your employees, as well. Is there any way to keep these increases in check?

When employees make healthy decisions and can get the care they need with the least amount of hassle, costs are reduced for everyone — not to mention aggravation.

Traditional medical plans aren’t the only benefit that touches on employee health: prescription drug plans, disability plans, and employee assistance programs (EAPs) do, as well. As your company searches for ways to reign in health care spending, one area to explore is how your various benefit programs work together to reduce waste and promote a healthier workforce.

Jan 30, 2017 12:43 PM

4 Signs Your Company Needs a New EAP

Faced with low utilization rates and the rising cost of benefits in general, some companies might ask themselves if their EAP investment is worth it. They hope their EAP will lead to a happier, more productive workforce, but wonder if that’s what they’re really getting for their money.

How can you tell if your company’s EAP is paying off? When is it time to think about changing providers?

Here are the four most common reasons companies decide to shop for a new EAP:

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