Studies show that one in every five employees – or about 20% – will experience a significant life problem this year and that employees lose an average of over 3 weeks per year dealing with personal problems. These problems run the gamut – they may be coping with a health issue, dealing with the loss of a loved one, coping with a teenager in trouble, finding elder care for an aging parent, handling debt, helping a school age child get resources for a learning disability or readjusting due to military deployment … you know – life! Everyone grapples with problems at some point and that is one of the main reasons employers turn to an Employee Assistance Program or EAP.
But simply having an EAP isn’t enough: The real issues are whether your employees are getting the help they need and whether your EAP ROI is paying off. In many instances, the answer is “no.” Here’s why.
On average, the utilization rate for EAPs ranges from about 3% to 5%. If that’s the case, for most organizations, there’s about a 15% gap between the number of people who experience problems and the number of people who seek help for dealing with those problems. That gap translates into stress, distractions, unplanned absence and more.
Closing the gap to improve EAP ROI
In our experience, there are two reasons why the EAP benefit is all-too-often underutilized:
- Employees are unaware of the availability and scope of available services
- Employees have trust issues about whether the services are confidential
We looked at this issue more closely and conducted an experiment with an enhanced communication program to see the effect on utilization – and it turns out that, yes, communicating the benefit yields results. To learn more about our study, download a free copy of our whitepaper:
Heightened EAP benefit communications translate to lower productivity losses and higher ROI