Our EAP benefit can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can help with a range of issues, from relationship and financial, through to mental health encompassing stress, anxiety, depression or even suicide. And we’d like to see even more businesses realising the service’s value, as part of a corporate health plan.
EAPs are one of the most popular employee benefits a company can offer, according to the Work Foundation (1). Being able to speak to someone who’s professional, confidential and friendly has its clear benefits for employees, and it can subsequently also play a role in helping improve the productivity, performance and efficiency of the workforce.
However, many HR managers are not evaluating the value EAP has within their business in terms of a cost utility benefit or return on investment. A report compiled by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation revealed just 9% of the 88 organisations which responded had assessed sickness absence, productivity, performance or engagement. A total of 31% of companies had not attempted to evaluate the quality or impact of their EAP, and 9% didn’t know whether this work had been carried out.
There was also a tendency for EAPs to be used only in a crisis or when the situation had already escalated to a serious stage, thought in part to be due to a lack of promotion and awareness of the service. Therefore, the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association, which commissioned the report, has called for EAPs to be promoted more effectively as an ‘everyday support service for wellbeing and life coaching’ as well as being considered a business performance driver.
Monitoring variables for the use of EAP can differ according to your specific business needs of course, whether it be sickness, profitability or more general internal motivational and wellbeing surveys.
The importance of schemes such as our EAP has been highlighted again after the Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement this month that there would be a review into mental health practices in the workplace (2).
The review, led by campaigner Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer CBE and MIND’s chief executive officer, will focus on supporting employees with mental health problems and ensuring they can thrive and perform at their best at work – something we believe companies who have our EAP are already working towards.
Our scheme comes free of charge with all of our plans and offers initial confidential telephone consultations to establish the best action to take, and six face-to-face sessions with a professional if needed. Ultimately, it’s about enabling a happy, healthy and productive workforce.
If you’d like to find out more about the Paycare EAP, please do contact your Account Manager or get in touch to enquire about a corporate health cash plan on 01902 371000.