Employ­ee Assis­tance Pro­grams (EAP) are com­pa­ny-spon­sored pro­grams that pro­vide assis­tance to employ­ees for a vari­ety of per­son­al issues that may be hin­der­ing or adverse­ly affect­ing their work per­for­mance. Typ­i­cal­ly offered through third-par­ty admin­is­tra­tors, EAPs can pro­vide their ser­vices online or via tele­phone and can some­times be a part of the employee’s health­care plan, how­ev­er it is not a replace­ment to the health­care plan.

Exam­ples of EAP Services

There is an assort­ment of ser­vices that EAPs offer to employ­ees. All these ser­vices have a cen­tral pur­pose: aid the employ­ee so that their per­son­al prob­lems are resolved, and their work per­for­mance is unaf­fect­ed. For exam­ple, Karen has been strug­gling dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic with depres­sion. To sooth her anx­i­ety, she has begun drink­ing every day. It’s grad­u­al­ly esca­lat­ed to the point where she is late to work, has fre­quent absences, and is miss­ing dead­lines. She knows she needs to talk with some­one who can offer her alco­hol abuse resources. She access­es her com­pa­ny spon­sored EAP.

Here are some oth­er com­mon ser­vices includ­ed in EAPs:

  • Alco­hol and sub­stance abuse counseling
  • Health and well­ness counseling
  • Child or elder care resources
  • Legal aid
  • Mar­i­tal and fam­i­ly counseling
  • Finan­cial counseling

Ben­e­fits of EAP Services

There are a num­ber of ben­e­fits to the employ­ee and the employ­er when the EAP is uti­lized in the work­place. First, uti­liz­ing the EAP ser­vice is com­plete­ly vol­un­tary. Sec­ond, the ser­vices are pro­vid­ed free of charge to the employ­ee. Third, the coun­selor that speaks with the employ­ee is entire­ly con­fi­den­tial. This allows the employ­ee to be com­plete­ly hon­est with­out feel­ing a threat that the employ­er would retal­i­ate on any­thing said in a session.

Uti­liz­ing your company’s EAP not only pro­vides ser­vices and care to you and your fam­i­ly, but it also ben­e­fits your com­pa­ny. No longer car­ry­ing the bur­den of your per­son­al prob­lems solo, an EAP coun­selor can give you sound advice and steps to fol­low to achieve suc­cess when tack­ling a prob­lem.  Employ­ers will ben­e­fit by there being no dis­rup­tion in the work­flow of their employ­ee due to over­whelm­ing per­son­al issues. Access your EAP and attack those per­son­al prob­lems today!