How to promote an EAP to employees effectively

How to promote an EAP to employees effectively

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are innovative programs aimed at addressing underlying — often complex — issues that may interfere with an employee’s ability to do their job to the best of their ability. EAPs can improve mental health, increase employee productivity, and enhance workplace culture and morale. Research from the National Behavioral Consortium looked at 56 EAP vendors and found that 94% of people who actively use EAP benefits see positive results. The study determined that 86% feel their productivity at work increased after using EAP benefits, and 64% say absenteeism reduced. It’s safe to say, EAPs can offer some stellar results in the workplace.

Learning how to start an employee assistance program in your organization is one thing, but understanding how to promote EAPs to employees is another. Thus, it’s critical for HR managers to focus on EAP communication to employees.

A well-established — and used — EAP can significantly improve employee well-being and employee productivity by helping people cope with work-related and personal challenges. Your organization, and your employees, will thrive when EAP utilization is high. Boosting EAP usage requires using effective tactics to ensure everyone, organization-wide, is aware of employee benefits and services. Read on to learn effective, proven strategies for promoting your organization’s EAP.

Give new life to your company’s EAP

At first glance, employee assistance programs may not be enticing, but the right EAP communication to employees can change that. For example, consider launching a branded internal marketing campaign to refresh employees’ perspectives. This will help create awareness about your program’s many employee benefits and encourage utilization to improve your ROI.

Create an engaging brand identity for your EAP

An appealing brand identity can significantly impact how employees perceive the program. Design eye-catching visuals, choose a memorable name, and develop clear messaging highlighting the value of EAP services.

Promote through various communication channels

  • Email: Send regular email updates to inform employees about available resources and share success stories from those who’ve benefited from the program.
  • Social media and communication tools: Use social media platforms and internal communication tools like Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or Yammer to post reminders and engage with workers about the program.
  • Fliers and posters: Display visually appealing materials and messaging around common areas in the office as constant reminders of the types of support that are available through EAP services.

Encouraging employees to use EAP programs can be challenging, but the payoff is rewarding. Here are some additional tips to increase utilization if you’re looking for ideas on how to promote EAPs to employees successfully:

  • Include information about EAP services in employee orientation and onboarding materials.
  • Allow employees to choose the type of support they need from a range of EAP services.
  • Train peers and leadership to recognize signs of distress and ensure they know how to refer colleagues to services.
  • Offer follow-up services to check in with employees as they cope with personal challenges.

Organize employee training and workshops

Providing employee training and workshops on EAP topics can significantly boost utilization rates. Educating your workforce about the EAP benefits empowers them to make informed decisions when they need support with things like:

  • Stress management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Work-life balance strategies
  • Financial struggles
  • Anxiety reduction techniques in the workplace
  • Legal advice

To encourage employees to attend, schedule sessions during work hours, or offer flexible options such as on-demand webinars or online courses. This gives employees easy access to valuable information without feeling overwhelmed by additional commitments outside their regular work schedule.

Create accessible resources

Creating and distributing resources should be high on your list for promoting EAP to employees. Provide clear details on the advantages of an EAP and ways to access services using:

  • Printed materials: Distribute brochures, posters, or flyers throughout your office space. Materials should highlight vital aspects of your EAP and be placed in high-traffic areas, like break rooms or near bulletin boards. You can also include a link to digital versions in employee newsletters or emails.
  • Intranet portal: Create a dedicated section on your company intranet with detailed information about EAP benefits. This could include FAQs, contact information for providers, and downloadable forms. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and updated regularly with new content. Consider adding an online chat feature so employees can have instant support when needed.

Send reminders

Reminders about EAP services can be sent through various channels, like email, newsletters, intranet posts, or even physical posters displayed in common areas. To make them engaging and informative, consider including:

  • Tips on how to access services
  • A brief overview of the types of support offered 
  • An explanation of confidentiality policies to reassure privacy is protected
  • Contact information for both internal HR representatives and external EAP providers

In addition to general reminders, you can also send targeted messages when employees may need extra support. For example:

  1. Promote stress management resources during high-pressure periods like end-of-year deadlines or job performance reviews.
  2. Highlight work-life balance tools around holidays (holiday triggers are real and can have significant impacts on mental health) or other busy personal times.

By consistently reminding employees about their EAP benefits and making it easy to access resources, you’ll encourage and improve utilization and help create a healthier workplace environment. 

Encourage management support

When management and leadership understand how EAP benefits can support employees, they’ll be more likely to encourage their teams to use the services. 

Make sure your leadership knows the power of an EAP by:

  • Educating key stakeholders: Provide training sessions or informational materials that explain the purpose and advantages of EAPs. Include details about how EAPs help employees cope with personal issues, improve work-life balance, and increase overall well-being.
  • Promoting open communication: Encourage managers to foster a company culture where discussing mental health is not stigmatized. They should feel comfortable addressing concerns with team members and directing them toward available resources offered through your EAP.
  • Create a supportive environment: Equip managers with tools and strategies for helping struggling employees — for example, you might offer flexible work arrangements or provide additional follow-up services after an employee uses EAP services.

Highlight employee testimonials

Sharing employee success stories can be a powerful way to demonstrate the value of your company’s EAP. It can inspire others to take advantage of services by showcasing how the program has positively impacted lives. Solicit responses by:

  • Gathering statements from people who’ve had positive experiences with the EAP and are eager to communicate their stories.
  • Creating an internal newsletter or blog to regularly share success stories, keeping your EAP top-of-mind for employees.
  • Incorporating quotes and anecdotes into promotional materials, posters, brochures, or intranet pages dedicated to explaining the benefits of your EAP.
  • Inviting employees who’ve used EAP services to speak at company events or meetings about their experiences — sometimes hearing firsthand accounts will encourage others to seek assistance.

Of course, maintaining confidentiality is crucial — make sure to hide identifying information unless someone gives you permission to use their name and story.  

Offer incentives

Incentives can encourage employees to take advantage of EAP benefits. To effectively communicate reward opportunities, use channels like email newsletters, company intranet announcements, and posters.  

Incentive Ideas

  • Gift cards: Offer gift cards to popular retailers or restaurants as a reward for attending EAP workshops or using EAP services.
  • Extra time off: Grant an additional personal day or a few hours of paid leave for employees actively engaging with the EAP.
  • Raffles: Enter employees participating in EAP events into a raffle for larger prizes.

Stronger EAP utilization with Talkspace

Knowing how to promote EAPs to employees successfully can increase usage and result in a healthier, more productive workforce. Talkspace, a leading provider of online mental health support for organizations, offers an innovative approach to mental health services in the workplace.

Talkspace is an online platform that provides therapy for employees, making it easy for them to get the mental health help they need. By partnering with Talkspace, your organization can benefit from:

  • Convenient access: Employees can connect with licensed therapists, anytime, anywhere, via text messaging or video calls.
  • Anonymity: With Talkspace’s confidential platform, employees feel secure in discussing their concerns without fear of judgment or stigma.
  • Data-driven insights: Track employee engagement and measure the impact of your EAP on overall well-being with real-time analytics.

To maximize the benefits of your partnership with Talkspace and improve EAP communication with employees, consider incorporating some of the tips we’ve given you here. These strategies help boost employee satisfaction and contribute significantly toward creating a happier, more productive, and more resilient workforce within your organization.


More articles

The importance of mental health inclusion in the workplace

How to improve employee experience

More articles