Canadian HR Reporter

March 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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F E A T U R E S 24 www.hrreporter.com E A P s WHY COUNSELLING MAKES MORE SENSE With mental health such a big consideration in the workplace, EAP counselling services can be more powerful than newer tech for employers looking to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism, says Charles Benayon of Aspiria WHEN it comes to determining the best elements of an employee assistance program (EAP) for an organization, providing truly helpful services to employees should be the main motivator. But this decision is also an important move for both a business and its human resources. Nowadays, most organizations are very conscious of being employers of choice. Offering a benefits package that includes quality EAP services ultimately expresses that they care about employees' mental (in addition to their physical) health, which can encouraged to seek professional counselling or the complementary services available when they need them. EAPs have changed dramatically over the years. Historically, they were created to address alcohol and substance abuse for employees suffering from these diseases within the manufacturing industry. In terms of sorting through the many different services that can be included in an EAP today, examining both demand and the market will help dictate what to offer. It may not always be clear what employees need most, but evaluating the numerous programs that EAP competitors provide in the market can further aid in choosing the most needed offering for your organization. Ultimately, basic EAPs should provide quality options for employees to access services that are either close to their home or their work — whether in person, over the phone, through internet video or via online messaging. While technology can sometimes hinder the quality of mental health services, its rise in popularity also provides employees with greater ease and comfort when it comes to reaching out for help. It is important to note that emphasizing the anonymity and confidentiality of EAP services in any medium, perhaps unlike other benefits, can further calm an employee's anxiety about accessing them. Emerging areas to consider Today, there are many programs disguised as EAPs that do not offer the same benefits. Health and wellness make an organization more appealing. Companies that invest in EAPs and make these resources readily accessible will truly make an impactful difference to the well-being of both the employee and the organization. Boosting usage When employers make available services to help employees and their family members address their mental health issues, it can be incredibly positive. Equally important is ensuring employees know about the services that are available to them in the first place. This way, they will feel more STRONG ROI TO EAP INVESTMENTS $8.70 ROI of an EAP for every $1 invested at Canadian employers. $10 ROI of an EAP for every $1 invested at organizations with usage levels of 15 per cent and above. 46% Number of EAP users who would have missed work if not for the EAP. 1 in 3 Number of those same workers who would have lost more than 20 days of work. apps, for example, should be looked upon as a secondary offering. This is because they lack the important personalization that speaking with professional counsellors with master's level education — whether in person or through other technological mediums — offers them for support. The more EAPs have evolved, the more they are about developing a broad-brush approach to health and wellness. Although many users appreciate the quickness and passivity of apps, when it comes to addressing personal matters (especially mental health issues), these tools may not be as effective in genuinely addressing mental health concerns. To better complement EAP mental health services — including psychological and crisis counselling — there are additional work/life services available, such as legal, financial, coaching and nutrition help. Some EAPs also offer extras such as specialized counselling for individuals affected by cancer, as well as management consultation services. Going above and beyond when it comes to mental health benefits is key. In addition to offering access to a Source: Morneau Shepell

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