Given the success that employers can realize by reducing employee productivity losses through the services of EAP, it would follow that employers should be doing all they can to encourage and channel employees to use their EAP services. However, utilization statistics do not bear this out. On average, EAPs see an employee utilization rate of between 3 percent and 5 percent, falling far short of the roughly 20 percent (or 1 in five employees) who could benefit by the services. This utilization gap represents an untapped productivity loss reduction for employers – not to mention the burdens that could be eased for the respective employees by problem resolution.

Employee awareness can be enhanced with consistent communications that describe all the available EAP benefits and services. In addition, including messaging that EAP services are confidential is key to achieving maximum utilization. The appropriate level of utilization varies by organization, but our study clearly shows that utilization rates in excess of 10 percent are achievable. Your EAP should be able to help you with developing a communications plan that fits your organization’s goals and culture. It should include a variety of messages highlighting all the EAP benefits and services.

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