Employee assistance programs

        Employees are the back bone of an organization for organizations rely on their employees for overall success. Without employee assistance programs productivity would decline while absenteeism, turnover, and disability increase. Our company, as you know, has offered several programs for the employees with the EAP, health and wellness, partial payment of fitness club memberships, time and stress management workshops and many more. These programs not only keep our employees healthy, but provide them with counselling services that they may need and allow them to work off stress while working here. Offering EAP's to your staff, it creates a better overall atmosphere, giving the sense that you as an employer care about the employee's well-being, which creates more of a membership or citizenship behaviour in the organization. Membership behaviour is when the employee feels as part of the organization, while citizenship behaviour takes it to the next level where the employee not only fees as part of the organization but also goes above and beyond the call of duty. Taking away the EAP and other programs will only cause the employees to be at best under the task behaviour model which they come to work, do their assigned task, and leave. Without the program could cause an "I don't care" behaviour where the employees may or may not show up to work, or may or may not completed their tasks. Our EAP and further programs assist with, drug and alcohol dependence, domestic violence, financial programs, legal problems, workplace conflicts, workplace harassment and violence, family and marital problems, depression, anxiety, and many more. By providing assistance with the issues mentioned prior, we can see a return on investment, lower medical claims, and a decrease in mental health insurance. Also we will see a reduced turnover rate, reduced absenteeism, and an increase in employee productivity. We will also maintain employee morale, reduce the risk of workplace violence, and help eliminate come of the costs of disability. (A Chance to Change, 2008)

        Even with our investment into the employee assistance program we should in the end see a return on such an investment of approximately 3:1 overall. For employees participating in an EAP, medical claims can be anywhere from 500 to 600 dollars less than employees who are not part of the program. A Campbell Soup study identified "mental health costs as a percentage of total medical costs and revealed a reduction from 11.5% to 6.7%" (CBA, 2007). EAP's assist to eliminate stress therefore there is a less possibility of mental health issues developing due to a stressful workplace. (A Chance to Change, 2008)

        Turnover is a big problem for a lot of organizations, and the National Institutes of Mental Health have reported that, "66% of all terminations are personal-problem related rather than job related" (A Chance to Change, 2008). Furthermore, "a good employee may choose to leave a job to deal with overwhelming personal issues" (A Chance to Change, 2008). With the EAP that we currently have we can cut this down significantly with offering of the health and wellness programs, time and stress management workshops, and other counselling services as needed. This, over all will keep our turnover low and when we lose these benefits to the employees we should see a turnaround and the turnover rocket up with this job that they are working now. Without the EAP and counselling services that we offer to our employees, we undoubtedly will see an increase in absenteeism. An unscheduled absence survey done by the 2002 CCH identified that "the average per-employee absenteeism costs is approximately 789 dollars per year" (A Chance to Change, 2008). A study by Chevron, concluded that there was a "50% improvement in employee performance after supervisors referred them to an EAP" (A Chance to Change, 2008) (CBA, 2007).

        Overall we have to consider the productivity of the employees in the fact that the employees provide the necessary force behind the organization, no only to keep it running but to produce the product to sell to the consumer. In the end if the employees suffer we suffer, and it will be more than a 15% decline in business overall that we are seeing currently. In the end, as a business we can always go ahead with a cost benefits analysis to gather all of our information and see how it improves for our employees and the cost associated with it, and the amount that we save overall from keeping the EAP vs. letting it go. As an organization we must put the employees first, and keep them up, working, and efficient, in doing this we will see the best possible outcome that we could hope for. (CBA, 2007)

        It is my final opinion that we should keep this EAP and the other programs offered to the employees instead of saying goodbye to them because of a decrease in business by 15%. I would suggest cutting costs in other areas in the organization, but not here with the EAP and other programs. The EAP saves us money in the end. (A Chance to Change, 2008) We can also take a look at the follow cost benefit analysis and return on investment by the following companies.

Bibliography

  • A Chance to Change. (2008, October 20). A Chance to Change. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from A Chance to Change: http://www.achancetochange.org/Employee_Assistance_Program/employee_assistance_program.html
  • Alpine Web Media LLC. (2007, December 1). Invest Eap. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from Invest EAP: http://www.investeap.org/whyeap_benefit.htm
  • Aspiria. (2003, January 22). Absenteeism. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from Aspiria: http://www.aspiria.ca/topic1.html
  • CBA. (2007, November 1). Cost Benefit Analysis. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from Benefits.org: http://www.benefits.org/interface/benefit/eap2.htm
  • CCOHS. (2009, June 11). Employee Assistance Programs EAP. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/eap.html
  • Nosek, V. (2009, February 22). Employee Assistance Program and Workplace Safety. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from Suite 101: http://human-resources-management.suite101.com/article.cfm/employee_assistance_program_and_workplace_safety
  • Steward, S. (2009, December 1). HR Blog. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from About.com: http://humanresources.about.com/

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