In the 1950s, companies began offering in-house programs to help treat employees with alcoholism. These programs turned out to be less expensive than firing and hiring new workers, so they grew in popularity until eventually becoming a mainstream tool among U.S. businesses.
Today, Employee Assistant Programs (EAPs) help people in the workforce deal with a wide variety of personal issues, including work-life stressors, relationship problems and financial struggles.
However, many employers are unsatisfied with the current systems and results of their EAPs, motivating them to try out new approaches.
Mental illness interferes with workplace productivity
In order to understand the importance of EAPs, you first need to look at how mental illness affects businesses. Employees with poor mental health are not as productive or physically capable. They may also be less efficient at communicating and collaborating with others.
Prioritizing the mental health of your employees is a crucial component to running your business efficiently. And a solid EAP can help you do that.
Workers are unaware or untrusting of EAPs
While one out of five Americans will deal with some kind of mental illness in their life, very few employees actually utilize their company's EAP. There are a couple of explanations for this trend. Due to certain stigmas around mental illness, many people don't view it as a medical concern and therefore don't think to seek help, or are embarrassed to.
Another issue is a lack of promotion. Many workers are simply unaware that they have access to EAPs because their employer doesn't do a good job of communicating it to them.
New EAP offerings are emerging
In response to the low usage of their EAPs, companies are implementing more advanced services for their workers. These new offerings include direct access to therapists via phone calls and video conferencing, as well as online resources that teach self-guided meditation.
Many of the companies that have enhanced their EAP services are experiencing positive results. For every $1 they invest in EAPs, employers are receiving $3 to $10 in ROI.
If you want to learn more about EAPs and how they can benefit your business, connect with us at Triton today!