(EAPs) can yield savings of $5 to $16 for each dollar invested, according to various studies. But if very few of your employees use your EAP, you’re not getting anywhere near that kind of ROI.
Organizations with the highest rates of employee EAP use save the most money through reduced, lower employee medical costs and employees who get back on track sooner after personal and substance-abuse problems.
Here are eight suggestions for boosting EAP participation:
- Make it convenient for employees to contact the EAP. Employees will use the service more if counselors are a five-minute drive from work or if they can access them online or via a 24-hour, toll-free hotline.
- Enable low-visibility access so employees won’t worry that co-workers will see or hear them asking for help.
- Ask your EAP provider to host wellness seminars, such as free lunchtime “brown bag” sessions on stress or time management.
- Let employees’ families know they can call for help. Ask your EAP provider to send information to workers’ families advertising services, hours and phone numbers.
- Publicize the EAP constantly. Promote it through regular reminders via email, your website, your intranet, etc. Ask your EAP for free posters and refrigerator magnets that advertise the EAP’s hours and phone numbers. Introduce the EAP to new employees during orientation sessions and emphasize the benefits.
- Run a regular reminder about the EAP in your employee newsletter, complete with the EAP office location and phone number.
- Encourage staff to bookmark the EAP website. Add a link to the EAP on your internal site.
- Train supervisors to recognize work problems and to suggest the EAP as an option for employees whose personal problems may be affecting job performance.
Example: On its website, the University of Connecticut Health Center offers its EAP Supervisor Guide, which outlines behavioral patterns that indicate an employee has problems that could be helped by tapping the resources available through the EAP.