Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) help employees navigate life challenges, adverse events, stress, and other issues that affect mental or emotional well-being. Typically, this includes services to help address child or elder care disruptions, along with alcohol or substance abuse, stress or grief, family problems, and financial or legal questions.
EAPs are typically voluntary and free to employees. In most cases, EAPs are also available to employees’ dependents and families.
According to the Society of Human Resources Management, EAPs are typically offered at no cost to employees by stand-alone vendors or providers. They are also relatively low-cost to employers – the average EAP costs employers, on average, $12 to $40 per employee, depending on the plan.
Sample policies and examples:
According to the U.S. Chamber, you can find a reputable EAP program by:
When you’re looking for a provider, here are a few things to look for:
If you already offer an EAP, promote your program heavily. Employee usage of EAPs is low, at under 10% on average. Often, employers don’t promote their programs enough for employees to know they exist, according to the Society for Human Resources Management.
Your employees will not sign up for the EAP unless they understand how it benefits them. So it’s your job to educate your employees about the program and remind them it’s available.
Your EAP may provide you with pamphlets and information to help your employees understand how the program works. And it’s a good idea to choose a point person in your office who is responsible for drafting policies to ensure this information is communicated to employees.
When new employees go through orientation, they may not be going through any personal challenges and need to utilize an EAP. But this could change down the road, so come up with a plan for reminding your employees of this benefit.