Employee Assistance Program
What is an Employee Assistance Program?
The link between job performance and personal well-being is a strong one: when you upset the balance, both sides of the equation suffer. When employees are suffering from personal problems, whether they are job-related or not, their functioning in the workplace can become seriously diminished. This is where an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is of the utmost benefit to the entire corporation. When employees are provided with help and support, they are given the resources to effectively deal with their problems, and their improved state of functioning is reflected in their workplace performance.
In general, an EAP is a program provided to employees by an individual’s employer, for the express purpose of providing professional help for a variety of issues that may affect an employee’s functioning in the workplace. Some common issues that can affect job performance are:
- Difficulties with stress management
- Concerns about job performance
- Marital problems
- Poor coping skills
- Problems with interpersonal relationships
- Financial concerns
- Substance abuse problems
When these problems go unchecked, they can negatively affect how well an employee does their job. With thorough and effective professional intervention for employees, companies see not only improved job performance, but also an improvement in the overall quality of life in the workplace.
An EAP is designed to promote healthy functioning in all areas of life, and it strives to help employees identify and resolve problems, both in and out of the workplace. The mission of an EAP is to provide confidential and accessible services to individual employees and their families in order to restore and strengthen the overall health and productivity of the employees and the workplace.
How are employees referred to an EAP?
There are two primary ways that employees are referred for EAP services. The first way is for the employee to refer themselves for counseling services. The counseling process for the employee would be considered the same as for other clients of the practice; however, the focus for the self-referred employee would be on assessing their current situation, and on enacting skills to make immediate changes occur in their life.
The second way that employees are referred for EAP services is when management mandates that the employee seek counseling in order to address a specific issue. In this case, the focus of counseling would be on determining the cause of the problematic behavior and/or attitudes. The client would then be helped to develop and/or enhance coping skills in order to effectively deal with their personal issues.
But, regardless of how an employee is referred for EAP services, the end result is the same: enhancement of personal functioning and, by extension, enhancement of workplace functioning and quality of life.