Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are used to make professional help available to the employees. Typical Employee Assistance Programmes offer assistance to employees in such areas as alcoholism, drug abuse, emotional stress, family problems and financial indebtedness.
Although research findings tend to vary, it is believed that EAPs are valuable contributors to both employees and employers.
First of all, giving employee assistance is simply the right thing to do from the standpoint of humanity, and there are some cost-benefit arguments in favor of EAPS. Certainly, the resolution of personal problems tends to make the employee a more effective contributor to employer objectives. That is, money spent on abating alcoholism among the workforce is perceived to be cheaper than money spent on ineffective performance, lost time, illness and death on the part of employees suffering from the disease of alcoholism.
Characteristics of an effective EAP
- The EAP should be staffed with competent professionals who respond to employee problems with empathy and who know what services are available in the local community.
- The EAP should be accessible to all employees 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
- The EAP should be advertised to all employees so that all are aware of the program.
- The EAP should be available to all employees and their dependents.
- The EAP must guarantee complete confidentiality.
- The EAP staff members should be willing to meet at any location where the employee or dependent feels comfortable.