This may seem obvious, but many employees are unsure what an EAP covers, who can use it, and the types of issues it’s designed to address. Covering the topic at orientation is essential, but don’t stop there. Put flyers or posters in a break room and other high traffic areas. Feature EAP services in stories on your intranet or internal social media channels. Go over the benefits with smaller groups at team meetings.
Workers may be under the misconception that they must ask permission from a supervisor to get an EAP appointment; all EAP materials should make clear that no referral is needed. Workers may also fear that their need for counseling or what they say to an EAP therapist will be revealed to their boss or to Human Resources. Let them know that other than reporting employees who pose a threat to themselves or others, EAP therapists strictly respect privacy laws and do not share information about counseling sessions with the employer.
It’s easy for employees to think that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness and that all their coworkers have everything under total control. In reality, what psychologists call the “allostatic load” (i.e., all the pressures and stresses of everyday life) affects everyone at some point, and should be presented as a real concern that deserves compassion and attention. Seeking help should be viewed as a sign of strength that warrants support, in the same way that employees are encouraged to take their allocated vacation days to recharge or see a doctor when they’re sick.
Although EAPs definitely can help employees dealing with major trauma, addiction, or other large challenges, that isn’t their only purpose. It’s important for employees to know that EAP counselors can offer support and insight on issues like workplace dynamics, financial management, and family issues, to name a few. An EAP is there to offer an expert, objective voice when something in life is off-center.
With Fairview’s EAP, you’ll get free materials to help you market this benefit to your employees, so you get the best possible return on your investment.
To find out more about Fairview’s EAP and how we can help you increase the number of people who use this benefit, request a consultation.