Feb 18, 2016 2:07 PM
In our last article, we wrote that, if you’re evaluating your company’s employee assistance program (EAP) and trying to decide whether to keep it, move on to a new vendor, or give up on EAPs entirely, the utilization rate should not be the only indicator you consider. Sure, it’s important to know whether a decent percentage of your employees are taking advantage of your EAP, but it’s not the only factor to consider — perhaps not even the most important one.
When evaluating the success of your company’s EAP, consider these factors in addition to the utilization rate:
1. Management Consultation
When a manager consults with an EAP representative, the assistance he or she receives has the potential to impact productivity and promote job satisfaction among the employees he or she manages. These consultations are a significant resource in helping managers address challenging situations in the workplace.
Does your EAP offer managers professional, easily accessible resources to turn to when they are facing a workplace concern? When managers have this resource, they can make better choices for how to address workplace issues, using the EAP to carefully weigh the pros and cons of potential impacts on workplace culture, team dynamics, legal and regulatory concerns, and corporate policies.
Six percent (6%) of LifeMatters utilization comes from managers seeking assistance through our management consultation program.
2. Critical Incident Response
Sometimes the most valuable feature of your EAP is the one you hope you never need — but it’s reassuring to know it’s there. Critical incidents can cause substantial harm to your workforce and your business operations. A reliable EAP provider will give you the necessary tools to respond appropriately.
What are critical incidents? Here are few examples:
- An employee gets injured on the job
- Someone dies on the job
- A domestic dispute spills over into the workplace
- A violent incident in the workplace or otherwise affects your employees
- A long-term employee announces he or she is suffering from a terminal illness
- A natural disaster
We hope you never have to deal with these situations, but, unfortunately, they do happen. When they do, you will want to make sure your EAP is there to back you up.
3. EAP as a Support for HR
Some employers use their EAP as an extension of their human resources and employee relations teams. Good EAP professionals understand the impact workplace changes can have on employees and their productivity. If your company is going through or will go through a downsizing, restructuring, or any other major change, professional assistance from your EAP can help minimize or prevent morale issues and unwanted turnover that often occur when changes are not handled in the best manner possible.
Human resources departments also find EAPs useful for addressing co-worker conflicts and performance issues caused by underlying personal problems.
Keep Up to Date on EAP Information
Each of these three factors is at least as important to consider when evaluating your EAP as the utilization rate. What else do you need to know about EAPs and how to make them support your employees and your organization’s success? For the latest ideas in this regard, keep up to date by subscribing to our blog.