Employee Assistance Program supports employer by helping in management of complex employees’ situations. If employee has been struggling with job, s/he would be taken aside and asked what the problem is. Incase of an emotional outburst or alcohol smell then the employer is aware there is something going on. Since the work of the employee is impaired, it could mean for employer to take a disciplinary action. But if the employee is doing poorly at work due to life’s pressure out of workplace, then the employer should help him or her cope more effectively and restore the good work performance.
This is done through this program whereby Employee Assistance Program counselor at this point helps both employer and employee in dealing with the situation and develops a plan that suits both. This gives employer another chance of retaining a good employee and keeping productivity (Bureau of National Affairs, 1998, p. 95). Another benefit of Employee Assistance Program is that it supports employee in different situations. When an employee is distressed, depressed, stressed or in substance abuse problem, this takes hold of work performance. This program gives fast access to confidential experts who can help the employee.
This expert helps employee in finding out the problem and then help in solving the problem. This works like “assessment and triage” model of assessing a situation and finding a solution. There is also preventive care offered by the program. Normally, Employee Assistance Program enables employee to have access to online education and on-site training. Through this education and training employee gets to know how to deal with negative stress, depression, family problems and problems associated with substance abuse helping him or her to know how to deal with them.
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This program also helps in emergency consultation. It gives counseling on crisis as required. Incase an organizations is robbed or an employee becomes a victim of serious accident this problem affects entire staff. With Employee Assistance Program one can access instant gain to therapist who can come to workplace and give stress debriefing to all staff members reducing probability of further distress and impairment among all those who are concerned (Michael, 2001, p. 227).
Employee Assistance Program helps in reducing cost of health insurance through a decreased use. There is also reduced downtime of a company with employees missing less work. This program helps in reducing loss of productivity from distressed employees who usually goes to work but work only at half speed. Dysfunctional employees have morale problem but this is reduced through Employee Assistance Program with highly qualified counselor. This program gives a competitive advantage to the organization. This is because there is reduced stress among employees and staff.
This program makes them creative, courteous and able to concentrate longer giving employer a significant advantage in today’s competitive and rapid changing market environment (Price, et. al, 1997, p. 547). When workers are stress they fail to come to work increasing rate of absenteeism. If employee’s problems are solved through Employees Assistance Program there is reduced absenteeism since employees have no problems. Employee’s problems affect working environment thus affecting productivity of co-workers.
Employee Assistance Program helps workers in resolving their interpersonal and personal problems before termination due to their ability to perform their job function. Stress in workplace results to increased chances of accidents but Employee Assistance Program reduces stress in workforce thus reducing claims and rate of extended health care and short term disability plans. This also reduces rates of long-term disability because of low risk of employees (Michael, 2001, p. 231).
Costs of Employee Assistance Program
The cost of Employee Assistance Program varies considerably with the typical costs of this program having not changing greatly since its invention. Many programs are geared towards business requirements and the cost is different in each organization. Work environment, organization’s culture and work force require determining of the type of services requested making cost dependent on organizational needs. The annual cost of this program favorably compares to greater cost of employees’ recruitment, turnover, training and lost productivity (Michael, 2001, p. 234). Conclusion
In today’s world, it can be stressful at times and balancing of needs of home, family and work can be demanding. Stress is temporary but it can sometimes interfere with daily well-being if it prolongs. Employee Assistance Program is designed to help professional in regaining balance and perspective of day-to-day activities which are interfered with by stress. If employees in an organization use Employees Assistance Program there will be potential monetary savings of the payroll because of decrease in absenteeism and improved productivity from employees’ problems.
There is an increasing number of Employee Assistance Program indicating that many organizations are realizing the significance of investing in healthy human resources through the Employee Assistance Program.
List of References
Bureau of National Affairs, (1998), Employee assistance programs: benefits, problems and prospects, Bureau of National Affairs Dickman, F. (1999), Employee Assistance Programs: A basic text, Charles and Thomas, ISBN: 0398054010 Kemp, D. (2000), Employee Assistance Program: An annotated bibliography, Garland Publishers, ISBN: 0824042905
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