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What is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)? Introducing Vivup

18th September 2023

EAP - Mental Health

What is an EAP?

It is well documented that happy employees are productive employees. On average, an employee spends 50% of their waking hours at work. For many of us, there will be a time when we need a little extra help, so, it makes perfect sense for businesses to ensure their employees have the information, tools and resources they need for optimum health and wellbeing. So where do we start? How about an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

An EAP is a confidential benefits service that provides access to emotional support, impartial advice and resources. An EAP is the ideal solution to support employees with any personal or occupational challenges that may be negatively affecting their mental wellbeing. It’s not easy to leave personal problems at home or vice versa. The main purpose of an EAP is to provide employees with assistance and empower them to take control and self-manage any personal or workplace challenges before their situation or their worries affects their health or performance at work.

How do EAPs work?

Life can be extremely challenging, both on a personal and occupational level. And coupled with the cost-of-living crisis, many people are experiencing difficult times. So, we may consider stress as a factor of everyday life.  However, unexpected, major, short-term traumatic events and difficult times can exacerbate feelings of stress, and this may begin to impact employee wellbeing, attendance and performance at work.

An EAP service usually begins with an employee making contact via telephone and a short triage system or assessment with a friendly specialist. This helps to identify the employee’s situation and a referral to the appropriate support based on their needs. This is followed by access to qualified professionals to provide help such as confidential in the moment telephone support, virtual or face to face short term counselling or a course of CBT. Short term counselling offers impartial support to help employees navigate through difficulties such as relationship problems, financial issues, traumatic events, mental health issues, bereavement, addiction, major changes at work and more. EAP services also provide employees with access to resources for practical advice.

We know EAP services are of a benefit to employees….. but are they beneficial to employers?

Collaborating with an EAP service can offer valuable insight and help identify key health issues to steer the organisational health and wellbeing strategy.  This will support the development and implementation of future preventative processes and targeted health interventions for a proactive approach to employee wellbeing. It is important to note that EAP services are completely confidential. Employers do not have access to any personal information.

Employers are becoming increasingly aware that employee wellbeing is good for business. Providing an EAP service helps to promote a happy, supported workforce, reducing the risk of absenteeism.

In 2018, a study by the Federal Occupational Health (FOH) found organisations who provide an EAP experienced 69.2% reduction in absenteeism and 22.8% reduction in presenteeism (present at work but feeling unwell, or unmotivated and unproductive). Providing an EAP service can help organisations demonstrate they value their employee wellbeing helping to develop a positive workplace culture.  Along with a reduction in absenteeism and presenteeism, an EAP offering will help improve mental health, reduce burn out, increase morale, improve employee performance and increase productivity.

There is an increasing acknowledgement that wellbeing is crucial to building organisational resilience so EAPs are a great resource for employers. Employers will see a return of investment of £10.85 for every £1 spent due to reduced company costs related to presenteeism, poor productivity and staff cover for absent employees.  Furthermore, organisations will attract and retain the top talent resulting in reduced staff turnover and a reduction in the costs directly from recruitment. EAPs have become the foundation of mental health provision for employers, providing a cost-effective solution and swift access to professional support for the majority of the workforce. With 75% of employers now offering an EAP, this is an encouraging indication of employer’s taking proactive steps to respond to the demands of an evolving world.

Introducing our new EAP Provider – Vivup Benefits

Health@Work has relaunched our Employee Assistance Programme with the award-winning, APPTS accredited wellbeing experts, Vivup.

With a simple phone call, Vivup provides access to qualified counsellors, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Including immediate support or a short course of counselling delivered via telephone, virtual or face to face sessions.

There is not only access to counselling and mental health support, but a whole host of online resources including; a library of evidenced based reading material, podcasts and webinars. These cover a range of health and wellbeing topics including sleep, addiction and bereavement.

Additional benefits include access to financial wellbeing and debt advice, specialist menopause clinicians and access to ‘Togetherall’ for anonymous peer to peer support which is moderated for safety.

Employers have access to management support if they have any concerns regarding employee wellbeing. Additional resources and brochures are also available for advice regarding employee engagement and retaining talent.

If you would like your employees to feel valued, motivated, happy and experience a sense of belonging,  Health@Work’s new EAP, delivered in partnership with Vivup is the perfect tool. Health@Work’s EAP delivers wellbeing services right at your employee’s fingertips helping to boost employee morale and improve productivity and staff retention. To find out more call us on 0151 236 6608.