EAP’s otherwise known as Employee Assistance Programs provide a safety net for employees and their families when it comes to issues such as divorce and separation, financial issues, elder care, depression and much more. There is no doubt that employee’s whose employers offer such a program are way ahead of their counterparts where no EAP’s are available.
Most employers offer EAP’s at no cost to their employees, since helping employees deal quickly with such key issues allows employees to be more productive for the long term.
The disturbing trend that I have seen developing is that younger employees now seem to be coming to human resources with a host of problems that need to be dealt with. Employees that are going thru a divorce may be going through depression, alcohol or drug dependencies as well as financial stress issues. Unfortunately EAP’s are not suited to deal with such issues, rarely going beyond the main that is presented by the employee. Multiple issues are not what most solution providers are organized to provide. Employees are therefore left on their own to figure out how to tackle many severe issues at the same time, often leading to severe depression, missed work and often unfortunately to employment termination. Community resources are structured in the same way, established to deal with one key problem at a time, not a host of issues.
It’s time for companies to start looking at hiring a caseworker to work with their employees when they have multiple issues to address. If your company is smaller it could mean you work with a group of companies to hire a caseworker that can address issues across the various companies. Although you may think the cost will be too high, it’s a simple case of looking at your overall absenteeism, long and short term disability costs and lost productivity. Making a case for bringing on a caseworker will pay for itself in no time. Go beyond convention and tackle productivity and employee morale in a brand new way.