An employee assistance program is an employee benefit that supports employees in times of trouble. It helps with personal issues that may affect their work, performance, health, and well-being. Employees who receive assistance from the program often feel a sense of relief. They often have access to a 24-hour nurse, confidential support, and longer-term resources. If you or a co-worker are struggling with a mental health issue, consider an employee assistance program.
Employers can help their employees overcome workplace stress by providing peer support services. These services can be provided by a peer support team that is comprised of front-line workers, union representatives, and senior officers. Employees can request help at any time during normal business hours, and inquiries are confidential.
The success of a peer support program depends on the people involved. Peer workers must be able to work with other employees and should have an understanding of mental health issues. They should also be able to set boundaries and understand when to step away. Moreover, training is an important part of creating a respected peer team. Ideally, peer support team members should undergo initial training and then receive ongoing training every six to twelve months.
Employee assistance programs provide employees with 24-hour nurse support and referrals for personal issues. These programs can be used for short-term issues or longer-term counseling. Some programs also provide local referrals. Employees can contact these programs for free if they have a medical emergency. Employee assistance programs can also help individuals with domestic violence situations.
The Mayo Clinic, a large medical center in Rochester, Minnesota, has an employee assistance program for employees. In addition to employing five on-site counselors, the organization has access to several external agencies and resources. Initially, employee use of the program was low, as stress over COVID and the lack of personal protective equipment was top-of-mind for many. Employees may be wary of seeking help because of the pandemic, and may not feel comfortable talking about their problems. In addition, if they work from home, they may not realize that the programs are available.
Access to longer-term resources
Employee assistance programs can offer employees confidential resources that can help them cope with their problems and stay at work. Employees will inevitably experience personal struggles while at work, and while employers may wish that employees could just ignore these issues and go about their work without concern, the reality is that employees need help to cope. The resources offered by employee assistance programs can help employees deal with issues ranging from work-life balance to substance abuse.
The EAP can help employees with workplace stress and personal emergencies, as well as help them make travel plans or resolve other work-related concerns. It can also help employees manage their relationships with their co-workers and prevent burnout. In addition, the program can provide referrals to longer-term resources.