Why have an EAP?

“Our employee benefit package would not be complete without Directions.”   Jill Denker, Executive Director of Human Resources and Physician Liaison, Lexington Regional Health Center

Companies commonly adopt Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) in order to maintain a productive, effective and functional working environment. The primary goal of an EAP is to ensure the mental health of employees so that they can consistently contribute to the growth of the company. EAPs cover everything from stress-related illness, drug and alcohol addictions to family related stress, grief, parenting challenges, marital problems, depression, anxiety, etc. These types of programs have proven highly effective for the wider success of companies that employ them and for the individual employees of those companies. When these things are going on and the employee IS at work, other problems can result. Mistakes are made, productivity lessens, tempers flare – it does affect their co-workers and the overall environment. The aim of an EAP is to reduce the amount of time employees take away from work and to ensure that when they return they do so with renewed strength and optimal mental health.

So, why do YOU need an EAP? Here are 10 important reasons why your company needs an Employee Assistance Program.


1. IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY: When an employee is dealing with personal issues such as mental illness, family problems or substance abuse, to name a few, the result is often a drop in productivity at work. EAPs provide the company with prevention techniques, assessment protocols and health management services. This means that while helping your employees deal with all of life’s little ups and downs, and we all know these are unavoidable, you are also ensuring effective company growth and development.

2. REDUCED COMPANY COSTS: When an employee is suffering personally, it is likely their work will suffer too. The bottom line is when this occurs, the company incurs financial losses. Estimates of the savings-to-investment range from 1.5:1 to 15.0:1 depending on the size of the company and the nature and extent of the services offered. Employee Assistance Programs are designed to reduce the impact that social, psychological or physical problems have on the employee in order to reduce the financial impact on the company. Employees receiving mental health counseling typically lower the usage of medical insurance.

3. THIRD PARTY ASSISTANCE: EAPs are third party agencies that specialize in connecting employees with appropriate services according to their needs. EAPs work with the company to provide employees with the best possible health, safety and training services. They assess individual employee needs and if needed, refer employees to suitable services and provide employees and their families with confidential access to professional health services. Essentially, an EAP agency can manage the overall health and safety of your employees so that you can get on with business.

4. INCREASED MORALE AND WORKPLACE HARMONY: Human resources are the most invaluable of all resources so it makes sense that as an employer, you need to look after your employees. A happy and healthy employee is a productive and effective one. EAPs ensure that your employees are well taken care of as individuals so that they can perform as part of your team. An EAP provides prevention and management services that ensure employees are happy and healthy. An EAP is highly conducive to a harmonious workplace. The added advantage here is that the employees know that the company supports them therefore they feel a connection to the work they are doing and are more committed achieving the desirable results.

Begin to think about the potential impact of the human factor in your department or workplace. What does this mean to you? To your staff? To your deparment’s overall level of productivity and morale? The productivity formula used by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce captures the hidden loss and cost of productivity declines by measuring the impact of employees suffering with personal difficulties. Consider this as the cost of not having or not utilizing an Employee Assistance Program:

Troubled employees are estimated to work at only 75% efficiency.

10-25% of the employees of any given organization are estimated to have personal problems affecting their job performance at any given time.


The formula: Average employee wage


10% of your total number of staff


25% in lost efficiency

=Conservative estimate of annual loss in productivity

5. REDUCED ABSENTEEISM: Absenteeism costs the company money. Frequent absenteeism can be devastating to business. EAPs reduce the amount of time employees take off work. These programs aim to provide a range of prevention and treatment options for employees and their families. In the event that time off work is required, the amount of time is greatly reduced and the employee is able to return to work with renewed strength.

6. REDUCED TURNOVER: A high turnover of employees can be costly for any company. EAPs effectively reduce the turnover of employees by managing work related and personal stress. EAPs improve the working environment in terms of morale and company support ensuring employees are well looked after, and less likely to leave their jobs.

7. REDUCED ACCIDENTS AT WORK: It is easy to see how accidents can happen at work when you’re stressed. A person suffering from stress-related symptoms will often experience difficulty with concentration, mental focus and physical function. This can be a dangerous combination in any environment. An EAP is equipped to prevent this from occurring or at least prevent it from reoccurring. EAPs look after the mental health and ability of your employees ensuring that they are able to function at the required level.

8. RESOLUTION OF WORK RELATED PROBLEMS: External stress often results in a reduction in workplace performance. Problems within the working environment lead to absenteeism, high turnover and low morale. EAPs look after the physiological health of employees developing strategies for coping with external stress as well as work related stress. An EAP will help employees develop the skills they need to cope with all types of work related stress. In turn, this reduces the impact of work related stress as there is a quick resolution.

9. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: EAPs connect troubled employees to professional services. One of the great things about an EAP is they are able to connect employees directly with these services and the first appointment will usually occur within a few days. This means that your employees are getting the help they need quickly, dealing with and averting crisis situations.

“Having free access to this service is changing my life and I am so thankful.” Directions EAP Counseling Client

10. IMPROVED WORK PERFORMANCE: Companies employing the services of a professional EAP have not only experienced increases in productivity but also in quality of work. Work performance is greatly affected by stress and personal problems often cause this to escalate. An EAP manages these problems and ensures employee issues are quickly resolved. This means fewer mistakes at work, higher quality output and an overall increase in work place performance.  A series of evaluation studies gave indications that EAPs succeeded at returning employees with alcohol and drug problems to effective performance.

Troubled employees don’t leave their personal problems at home…..They bring them to work, where they can appear as tardiness, irritability, missed deadlines and appointments, accidents and diminished job interest. Businesses have found that Employee Assistance Programs can and DO help employees overcome personal problems that affect their jobs…and their lives…and your work environment.

Directions EAP will work to help you increase productivity, retain valuable, trained employees, reduce accidents, handle employee crisis intervention, provide supervisor training and consultation, and address issues related to turnover and staff issues.

If you are interested in talking further about how your company could benefit from offering an Employee Assistance Program, we would love to talk with you about Directions EAP. Give us a call at 402-434-2900 or 800-563-8201.