Feb 18, 2016 2:36 PM
Increasing EAP utilization helps your employees and dependents to address problems that might otherwise affect their job performance and or result in unnecessary utilization of medical or disability benefits.
Let’s take a look at six simple strategies for improving awareness and utilization of your EAP:
1. Skills-Based Manager Training Modules
The last thing you want is for a manager to notice that an employee is stressed, unhappy, or extremely angry, and simply let it go. Include brief training sessions for managers to educate them on how to identify a distressed and/or potentially violent employee and provide strategies they can use to assist employees in getting the appropriate help from your EAP. This type of information has a company-wide impact on reducing risk, increasing productivity, and building a resilient culture.
2. Ten-minute Webinars
In some cases, employees may feel that they are too busy to deal with their problems. An employee may intend to call the EAP about a family issue but may have a hard time finding the right moment during the day. By providing short 10-minute webinars or presentations on common issues, such as parenting or juggling the needs of aging parents and children, you can briefly connect with employees, providing them with useful information and resources while creating awareness of your EAP.
3. Links to Employee Websites
Most employer organizations use an intranet, wiki, or other online resource to provide information to their employees. Linking your employee site to your EAP website is an easy way to help employees learn about their benefits. If possible, use a deep link or single sign-on process so that employees can access the EAP site without needing an extra password.
4. Flyers and Handouts
Even in the age of online enrollment and mobile benefit apps, paper marketing materials still have a unique ability to reach employees. A poster in the break room or a stack of brochures in a copy room can remind employees of your program’s benefits on a daily basis.
5. Benefit Fairs
If you are planning an employee benefit fair before or during an annual enrollment period, be sure to include your EAP provider. Even though employees may not need to actively enroll in the EAP, a benefit fair is a great opportunity to raise awareness of your EAP’s unique benefits.
6. Integration with Other Benefits
If your organization offers medical coverage or other benefits in addition to an EAP, look for ways to integrate your other plan benefits with your EAP. For example, many employee assistance programs offer a certain number of counseling sessions, which can help reduce the number of mental health claims paid through your medical plan. You may also be able to coordinate your benefits so that your EAP provider will make an outreach attempt to employees who apply for FMLA leave, disability benefits, or workers compensation benefits.
Of course, utilization is not the only measure of EAP success. It’s also important to consider outcome measures, management consultations, critical incident responses, and other factors in order to gain a comprehensive view of your program’s effect on your workplace culture. If you’re looking for insights and tips on getting the most from your EAP, subscribe to our blog today.