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6 Benefits of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

6 Benefits of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can be essential for a comprehensive support system in today’s workplace environments. As organizations become increasingly aware of the need for mental health and well-being in the workplace, we’re seeing a significant uptick in EAP utilization, and for good reason.

Implementing employee assistance program benefits can be a game-changer in your organization. These programs offer many advantages — not just to your employees but also to your entire company. An EAP can provide invaluable assistance and employee wellness resources to staff who are dealing with personal and/or work-related issues. The results are far-reaching, too. Increased efficiency and productivity, among other employee benefits, are top wins of offering EAP benefits to employees.

EAP benefits in the workplace can:

  • Improve employee productivity and performance
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Offer cost savings for employers
  • Enhance employee well-being and satisfaction
  • Increase employee retention
  • Improve company culture

EAPs create a healthier, more productive work environment that benefits everyone. Dive deeper into each of the following ways EAPs are good for organizations and workforces. We’ll share compelling evidence on how the benefits of EAP for employees can positively impact your organization’s success.

1. Improved employee productivity and performance

One of the most appealing benefits of an employee assistance program is its positive impact on productivity and performance. By providing access to mental health and well-being services, employees who take advantage of EAP benefits can better manage stressors, anxiety, and other matters that may otherwise negatively affect their job performance.

  • Better focus: Employees who receive confidential counseling and services through EAPs often report improved concentration at work, leading to higher-quality output.
  • Faster problem-solving: With a clear mind, employees can tackle challenges more effectively and make well-informed decisions.
  • Stronger creativity: A healthy mental state fosters innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.

Research shows a significant improvement in employee productivity after using Talkspace online therapy services — after just 12 weeks of therapy, participants reported a 36% increase in productivity at work.

Wondering what other ways you can improve productivity? Check out these different ways to increase employee productivity.

2. Reduced absenteeism

Another significant benefit of implementing an employee assistance program is reduced employee absenteeism. A study by SHRM found that companies with EAPs see a 27% decrease in absenteeism, resulting in substantial cost savings for employers. 

It appears that when employees have access to mental health support and resources through platforms like Talkspace, they’re more likely to address their issues proactively, which can lead to them taking fewer days off work. Talkspace research shows that after 3 months of therapy, participants missed 50% fewer work hours

The EAP-related reduction in absenteeism can be attributed to several factors:

  • Better stress management: Employees who use EAP services learn coping strategies and techniques for managing stress, which can help prevent employee burnout and reduce the need for time off.
  • Faster problem resolution: With timely access to professional assistance, employees can resolve personal or work-related issues more quickly, minimizing disruptions at work.
  • Promotion of overall well-being: Organizations demonstrate their commitment to employee wellness by offering comprehensive mental health support. This encourages workers to prioritize self-care and seek help when needed.

Fewer days missed at work can financially benefit organizations, as a consistently present workforce leads to greater productivity and effectiveness. Other cost savings come from improved engagement and morale, likely due to the mental health services provided through EAP benefits.

3. Cost savings for employers

Investing in benefits of EAP for employees can result in considerable cost savings for organizations. Research suggests that for every dollar invested in EAP services, companies see an average ROI of between $3 - $10. Savings often come from: 

  • Reducing healthcare expenditures over time
  • Fewer workers’ compensation claims or disability leaves stemming from stress-related conditions
  • Employees feeling supported and valued by initiatives such as EAPs tend to be more loyal and committed — reducing turnover rates and associated recruitment costs

4. Enhanced employee well-being and job satisfaction

Other important EAP benefits are enhanced employee well-being and satisfaction. A comprehensive EAP will offer the types of mental health services that help employees manage stress, anxiety, depression, and other personal issues. 

Research shows that in organizations where EAPs are offered, and utilization is high, rates of chronic illness and depression decrease. 

Effective EAPs work to increase well-being and job satisfaction by:

  • Offering mental health support: Employees have access to timely support and can connect with licensed therapists. Getting help when needed improves mental health outcomes, especially for those who may not have sought help otherwise. 
  • Encouraging better work-life balance: An effective EAP also includes resources for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Some research found that after 12 weeks of therapy, 39% of employees felt they had an improved work-life balance.  
  • Fostering an inclusive environment: Companies that prioritize employee well-being demonstrate their commitment to creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and supported. This fosters a sense of belonging among team members, further enhancing job satisfaction — one study found a direct correlation between EAPs and higher levels of job satisfaction. 

Investing in therapy for employees at Talkspace, means promoting individual wellness. It can help create happier workplaces where people feel motivated to perform at their best.

5. Increased employee retention

One of the little-discussed benefits of employee assistance programs is they can increase staff retention rates — and there’s no arguing that high turnover rates can be costly for organizations in terms of lost productivity, losing their competitive edge, and tarnishing their brand reputation. 

Implementing an EAP can help address personal issues that might eventually lead to job dissatisfaction or resignation. EAPs show employees a company is invested in them, cares about their well-being, and wants them to be happy and healthy. When they feel this, their loyalty is enhanced, and they’re more likely to stay with an organization. EAPs can be a source of:

  • Better support: Employees feel valued when they know their employer cares about their well-being enough to offer resources to help them cope with personal challenges.
  • Reduced stress: Accessible mental health care allows employees to manage stress effectively, leading to a healthier work-life balance and greater job satisfaction.
  • Loyalty: When workers feel supported by their company’s initiatives — like by having access to EAPs — they’re more likely to remain loyal and committed long-term.

Offering EAPs as part of a total benefits package demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and contributes significantly to being able to attract and retain top talent. Not to mention, in today’s competitive landscape, employees expect — or demand — additional benefits beyond a standard package. EAPs are an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition so you stand out to star talent.  

6. Improved company culture

EAP benefits can have a positive impact on company culture. A supportive and inclusive work environment fosters new employee engagement, collaboration, and loyalty. 

By offering an EAP with mental health services like those provided by Talkspace, you prioritize employee well-being, which creates a workplace culture that encourages:

  • Better communication: Employees who feel more supported in their mental health needs and are more likely to communicate openly with colleagues and managers, improving teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  • Inclusivity: An EAP that addresses various aspects of employees’ lives — from mental health support to financial counseling services — creates a sense of inclusivity within the workplace, making everyone feel valued.
  • Morale boost: Employees who know they have access to employee wellness resources to help them manage and navigate personal challenges experience increased morale on the job. This positivity can be contagious throughout entire organizations.

Integrating Talkspace into your company’s EAP sends a clear message: well-being is a priority, inside and outside of work hours, which contributes to a healthier company culture. Learn how to promote EAP to your employees so they know you care and that resources are there.

Prioritizing mental health in your company’s EAP

As a human resources professional, prioritizing mental health within your company’s employee assistance program is critical. Integrating comprehensive mental health services — like Talkspace — can significantly impact well-being in the workplace and your organization’s overall success.

Prioritize mental health with EAP benefits to create a supportive and thriving work environment. EAP services will help your people with emotional conflict, stress management, and even financial and family planning. Working with a trained employee assistance professional or EAP service provider is essential to develop a work-based intervention program that fully supports employees. This can lead to a myriad of benefits, from greater employee retention to employees who feel supported to fewer workers’ compensation claims, and more.  

Learn how to start an employee assistance program that incorporates Talkspace therapy today.

Sources:

  1. DellaCrosse, Meghan, Kush Mahan, and Thomas D. Hull. “The Effect of Messaging Therapy for Depression and Anxiety on Employee Productivity.” Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science 4, no. 1 (2018): 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-018-0064-4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41347-018-0064-4
  2. Agovino, Theresa. “Companies Seek to Boost Low Usage of Employee Assistance Programs.” SHRM, November 21, 2019. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/winter2019/pages/companies-seek-to-boost-low-usage-of-employee-assistance-programs.aspx
  3. Attridge, M, T Amaral, T Bjornson, E Goplerud, P Herlihy, R Paul, T McPherson, L Teems, D Stephenson, and S Routledge. “EAP Effectiveness and ROI.” EASNA Research Notes 1, no. 3 (2009). https://easna.org/NBGRecommendationsforDefiningandMeasuringEAPs.pdf
  4. Creighton, Kelly. “Employee Assistance Programs Vital for Retention and Engagement.” HR Daily Advisor, June 29, 2018. https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/07/03/employee-assistance-programs-vital-retention-engagement/
  5. Chen, Yin‐Che, Hui‐Chuang Chu, and Pin‐Tun Wang. “Employee Assistance Programs: A Meta‐analysis.” Journal of Employment Counseling 58, no. 4 (2021): 144–66. https://doi.org/10.1002/joec.12170. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joec.12170?af=R

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