Today more than ever, employers are taking an active interest in the mental wellbeing of their employees. This effort towards wellness not only saves time and money, but can lead to a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in productivity. Employee assistance plans (or EAPs) are one way to support employees’ mental health and wellness. In comparison to years past, mental health services are more accessible as individuals are offered more ways to communicate with mental health professionals in a variety of ways:
- By phone
- Via email
- Via webchat and video chat
For a business owner or manager, employees are a valuable, necessary part of keeping a company moving forward. It is in a company’s best interest to take care of their workforce, not only with safety measures in the workplace or their physical health but also in regards to their mental wellbeing.
How an EAP Can Help Boost Mental Health
Employee Assistance Programs are company-sponsored and designed to help employees deal with a variety of issues that may have an impact on their work performance and general wellbeing. Healthier, happier employees will be in a better condition to accomplish tasks and balance their personal life with their work life. Employers would be wise to make mental health a priority, especially since in a given week, half a million employed Canadians are not able to work because of mental health issues.
- EAPs save time and money: Taking advantage of an EAP means employees don’t have to always have to wait for referrals or leave work to receive care, they can reach out to their plan sponsor for a variety of support methods online or over the phone, saving time and money for the employer. When employers take time to address issues like addiction, depression, or abuse through the implementation of EAPs, employees are more likely to work harder and show up more often.
- EAPs decrease absenteeism: When life circumstances are left unresolved, our attention shifts and we are not as focused on the task at hand. A Morneau Shepell study found that employees whose workplace had an EAP in place showed an 8.7% reduction in hours absent from work due to personal or family problems. As more and more companies implement EAPs, employers have opportunities to see more motivation from employees who want to be in the office more often, but may have been previously prevented by a barrier to support services.
- EAPs increase productivity: Depression, substance abuse, and trauma-induced stress are just a few of the reasons an employee may seek assistance through an EAP program. In the Shepell study, it was found that employees who take advantage of their organization’s EAP increase their productive work hours by an average 35.9%.
Employee Assistance Programs for Your Employees
Medical professionals have long recognized that mental-health issues impact the workplace, and today’s employers have an opportunity to make wellness a priority for everyone in their organization, from management to your entry-level hires. EAPs can take on many different forms, including physical fitness facilities, on-site health services, and wellness programs geared toward mental and physical health. For business owners who want to save money, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity, ask your Advisor how an EAP can serve to be a valuable component of the workplace.