Morneau Shepell, the largest Employee Assistance firm in Canada, released a new study that said that intervention through employee assistance programs leads to improved employee mental health and higher productivity, as well as a reduction of 25 percent in costs due to lost productivity.
The study collected data to measure four specific outcomes: general health status, mental health status, productivity, and absenteeism. Here are some of its findings:
- Employees rated their mental status 15 percent higher after receiving EAP support.
- EAP intervention resulted in a 34 percent reduction in costs related to lost productivity.
- Before EAP intervention, decreased productivity and absence was costing organizations almost $20,000 per employee per year.
75 percent of North American businesses have an employee assistance program and they are a key component of employee benefit plans. The Morneau Shepell study made two key recommendations:
1. Organizations should develop a more strategic partnership with their EAP provider as a first step in reallizing the return on investment. The provider can recommend strategies to optimize the use of the EAP as a preventative measure with the objective of saving costs on the bottom line and using the EAP to support the organization’s health priorities.
2. Organizations should consider a strategic approach to absence management, cost management and strategies related to employee engagement and retention.
For more information about this study go to http://bit.ly/kZ2Xx1
While 75 percent of employers may have an EAP, all programs are not alike. Employers should investigate their vendors to be sure they are meeting the needs of their company. The company contact or HR representative should have a good relationship with their EAP provider, with the ability to consult or to seek management assistance on a range of personnel issues.
Your EAP should be your partner in assisting with your employees’ emotional health. The more the employee assistance program is supported by management and promoted and marketed to employees, the more it will be used.
Healthy, happy and engaged employees will save their employers thousands in lost productivity, morale issues, performance problems and health insurance claims. Employees who feel supported by their employer will be loyal in both good and bad economic times.