What is an employee assistance program (EAP)?

February 6, 2023

63 percent of employees wish for better support at work concerning topics like stress, burnout, and other mental challenges. How can employees be supported effectively during their development?

Likeminded Editorial Team

Table of Content

What is an employee assistance program?

In today’s world, work demands quite a lot of employees: meetings, deadlines, KPIs and optimally, constant growth. Your employees and managers are confronted with very individual challenges everyday which make strategies for coping with stress and counselling much more urgent. Did you know that 63 percent of employees wish for better mental health support at their workplace? But how can they be supported on their journey towards personal development and a healthy work-life balance? Likeminded offers various tools that improve mental health within companies and give employees an opportunity for proactive self-care.

Internal or external employee assistance have become more and more present since the 1930s and established themselves as essential measures for health support. What started mainly as a step against rising alcohol and addiction issues has evolved into a prevention rather than a reaction method. Everyone is confronted with very different problems and issues during their lifetime that can reach from personal changes to conflicts within teams or stress-induced burnout. It is clear that learning about stress-reducing abilities and early recognition of discontent and trigger points can help to correct those issues to secure satisfaction and performance. Studies have shown that in Germany alone 15 percent of absence days are due to mental health problems which does not only burden the development of the individual employee, but also affects the whole team and therefore, the whole company.

Using an employee assistance program (EAP), an external counselling tool, that is offered to employees and leaders to support their health is always suitable. The thematic reference is completely dependent on the personal needs of the person receiving counselling and is implemented as a short-term offer most of the time. The benefits of a balanced company culture, which supports the work-life balance of employees and leaders, are merely seemingly paradoxical: more productivity through less work? Yes and no. Increase in productivity is a by-product of the increase in well-being. The goal of preventative counselling around the topics of health, development and balance between work and free time is to prevent conflicts and decrease mental burdens in order to improve not only private but professional satisfaction as well.

Use of mental health support

Which concrete benefits does external psychological counselling offer for companies and their employees? Besides the aforementioned decrease in absence days thorough timely counselling in case of psychological stress and preventative crisis management, productivity levels have been shown to increase as well. Gaps in knowledge and workflow can be avoided actively and a high fluctuation in potential long-term loss can be minimized. One of the most important positive factors is employee retention which employees form towards their colleagues and the team as a whole when being supported by their company. A company that puts great emphasis on the well-being of employees will accompany loyal employees on their journey and thus, preserve a positive image from the inside as well as from the outside perspective. This offers significant advantages on the market because good employees can be supported long-term without them wanting to leave the company due to the next step in their career or tensions within the company itself.

Managers can benefit from EAP as well: The support of their professional career, proactive acquisition of knowledge and a health work-life balance for preventative stress management are just a few of the many advantages. As leaders, they constantly find themselves in a role model position, which directly influences the behavior and well-being of employees. The value of EAPs is obvious as soon as one looks at the numbers: for every invested 1€ an increase in productivity of 4€ can be registered. A company that views its employees’ well-being as a top priority will register a long-term advantage in competition.

Which benefits does the mental health solution from Likeminded offer?

In contrast to traditional EAPs, the mental health solution from Likeminded provides a holistic offer which encompasses various external psychological counselling options. The mental well-being of employees – whether manager, leader, or staff – is top priority and can be promoted though self-learning offers or multilevel counselling preventively or in situations of acute crisis.

To start, employees can take an anonymous online test to find out how they are doing mentally. Within different formats, they then have the opportunity to receive counselling in a one-on-one setting or together with a group, participate in webinars or use self-guided tools to improve their personal well-being, their health and their skills. The latter will introduce them to a range of important tools that support them concerning private as well as professional matters. How that can be a benefit for companies? The employees’ private lives do not vanish when they enter the workplace and the other way round, they also take burdens from work into their home – a trend that has intensified through the implementation of working from home. The offer to receive counselling within a one-on-one conversation is especially sought-after by employees when they feel the need to talk about personal matters like family issues, grief or other worries. This offer does not only relieve employees, but HR teams and leaders as well.

An EAP is useful not only for those employees that are already in a disadvantageous position since it offers various benefits for one’s personal and professional career: Which goals do I want to reach, and which steps need to be set in motion so that I can reach those? A heightened individual involvement in company-strategic goals through congruent personal goals can heighten satisfaction within one’s job significantly. The feeling of individual responsibility towards themselves and the company are heightened majorly. Additionally, learning easy tools like mindfulness exercises can not only have a positive effect on the happiness of individual persons, but they can also increase creativity demonstrably and therefore support outside-of-the-box thinking.

All services are usable intuitively and lead employees through the process which is online and completely anonymous. Traditional EAPs are more often than not rather complicated to use or take place in physical interaction with counsellor within one’s work environment, which may lead to employees to waive the offer. The reason for that: an ongoing stigma and a resulting feeling of shame to make use of offers around the topic of one’s own mental health. The mental health solution by Likeminded facilitates the individual, value-free and anonymous external counselling service, which supports employees exactly where they need it thanks to a higher degree of use and the use within the remote office.

Even though traditional EAPs offer a great solution for usual challenges to support employees through stress and crisis management, the digital developments and alternative work formats like new work and working from home have created new obstacles that can influence employees’ well-being and to which traditional EAPs cannot react flexibly enough. Thanks to innovate usability and anonymity, the utilization rate for Likeminded is up to 20 times higher than that of common EAPs. Instead of reaction, we prioritize preventative measures that will influence your company sustainably. Invite proactive self-care into daily working life with Likeminded and prioritize the well-being of your company.

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