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Do Employee Assistance Programs Work?

Aug 18, 2008
When a workers personal appearance declines and he or she is calling in sick more than usual, especially on the Monday after payday, it will be a series of red flags that should prompt some action on the part of management.

However working with troubled employees without the benefit of an employee assistance program can be one of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of the managerial job. To ease this process, many companies have adopted various Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that are systems designed to provide to employees whose job performance has become adversely affected by a number of factors including substance abuse, legal issues, and in some cases other health problems. These problems not only threaten the employee's performance on the job, but also tend to trigger a wide range of other health problems of both a mental and physical nature.

There are several ways for any employee to reach out to an Employee Assistance Program. They can be referred to one by their supervisor or they may seek the help of one themselves. It's important to remember that mangers that use these services for the benefits of their employees are not prying. Their concern is more about bringing the employee's job performance back up to standard.

The Employee Assistance Program isn't a new idea. There is even an instance of one being developed at the Macy's Department store a far back as 1917 that was designed to help he employee's there deal with their personal problems. However, these early programs had a focus that was almost entirely on alcohol and drug related problems, today's versions focus on a much more holistic approach and therefore deal with every aspect of any employee's life.

As a result, there has been a widespread acceptance of the fact that everyone is susceptible to problems that can create on the job stress and that these issues need to looked at in way so that solutions can be found. These programs are all built on the philosophy that employee's are the most valuable asset that any company has and that replacing them when they show signs of distress is not the response that's best for the company or the employee.

An Employee Assistance Program gives employees a personal outlet for personal or job concerns. They are an excellent way of ensuring staff retention and productivity levels by getting involved and taking the necessary steps to solve problems before they get to the point where they affect employee's personal lives and work production.

Remember that employee assistance programs actually help out the managerial process by placing the onus on a specific program rather than the manager or supervisor. In this way, any claims of favoritism can be avoided and the manager is left to do the job that he or she is paid for, namely manage the company to make a profit.
About the Author
Richard Reid of
Pinnacle Proactive
, Specialists in the
Employee Assistance Program ,
Stress Management ,
Staff Retention & Absenteeism . Take a Proactive Approach in Growing Your
Organisation
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