An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a program that an organization implements to ease some of the personal problems faced by its employees. An employee assistance program is largely voluntary, in that it is not mandatory either for organizations to implement it, or for very employee to avail it.
According to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, here’s what to look for:
- 24/7 phone response. Seek out providers that have trained counselors on duty answering a toll-free phone line at all times. Avoid EAPs that require users to navigate an elaborate phone tree before reaching a counselor.
- Confidential services. Licensed, professional counselors should deliver assessments and face-to-face counseling sessions in safe, private and confidential offices. Make sure there are enough counselors in your area to deliver timely services in both urgent and nonurgent cases.
- Referral support and follow-up. The EAP should assist employees by providing referrals for long-term or specialized care based on assessed needs, recommended treatment and employees’ financial resources. The EAP should provide follow-up and ongoing support for employees.
- Crisis intervention. Will EAP counselors come to your facility if there’s an emergency, such as an incident of ? Good EAPs can provide counseling for traumatized employees. They can also help coordinate emergency-response plans.
- Substance abuse expertise. Given their disproportionately great impact on the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse problems often represent the bulk of EAP cases.