If you are a manager or human resources professional, you may be aware of the numerous benefits of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the procedure for how someone can access services. My colleague and fellow blogger, Reggie E., reviewed the process of what happens when an employee contacts us in his excellent post, When You Call.
However, the EAP is also an employer benefit, with more than 10% of all contacts initiated by company representatives for a variety of personal and workplace problems. At Empathia, your team dedicated to providing this assistance consists of Account Executives, Consultations Specialists and Performance Specialists. These professionals are all master’s-prepared, have years of experience in the EAP field and have both clinical and business backgrounds.
So, why would a manager or HR staff person call the EAP? Common reasons include the following:
- To help prepare for a confrontation meeting with an employee who is having performance problems.
- If an employee comes to him/her with a personal problem.
- For advice on how to refer an employee to the EAP.
- If he/she suspects an employee is using drugs or alcohol on the job.
- When a workgroup or team is having interpersonal conflicts.
- For coaching on how to establish clear, attainable expectations for employee performance.
- For assistance with addressing a workplace crisis, such as a coworker death or suicide, a violent incident or a natural disaster.
- For consultation before making a “fitness-for-duty” determination about an employee exhibiting unusual behavior on the job.
- To address situations like violence prevention, sexual harassment, cultural diversity issues, stress management, etc.
- To discuss any other work-related issue that concerns him/her.
The EAP offers professional management consultation whenever it is needed, as often as it is needed.
In terms of specific services available, here are brief descriptions:
- Management consultation – Personalized assistance to address employee personal and/or performance issues. Depending on the organization’s policy, interventions may include personal (generated out of personal concern), performance (generated for substandard performance) or mandatory (generated usually in combination with a Last Chance Agreement) referrals.
- Trauma response – Individualized assistance for responding to a wide range of traumatic events, such as natural disasters, employee deaths and workplace violence.
- Return-to-work conferences – Addresses the needs of the individual and the company after an employee’s prolonged absence in the workplace.
- Fitness-for-duty evaluations – Coordination of a forensic assessment that determines if an employee can perform the essential functions of his/her job with or without reasonable accommodations, and/or without a direct threat to the safety of others.
- Workgroup assessments – Structured interviews with stakeholders, team leads and workgroup members. Additional evaluative measures, such as surveys, may be employed as well.
- Leader coaching – Highly effective leadership coaching programs, one geared toward senior leaders and the other targeting front-line supervisors and operational managers.
- Executive leadership development program – A highly customized, skill-based leadership development initiative that incorporates assessment instruments, targeted readings, self-learning assignments and ongoing leader coaching.
- Culture assessment – Assesses the “behavioral landscape” of the workplace and helps position culture to support positive behavior change by providing the necessary tools for measuring and shaping a healthy work environment.
- Account management – This includes coordinating the rollout of the program, as well as helping to maintain and evaluate it. Additionally, assistance is provided for complaint investigation/resolution, utilization review/analysis and general questions or issues about the EAP benefit.
Explore the related section of our website to learn more about the EAP services available to managers and HR personnel through Empathia. Please note that different services are included in different contracts to best meet the needs of our customers.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any personal stories you are willing to share? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
Jeremy S. joined Empathia in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services, then became an Account Manager/Sales Consultant in 2012. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of managerial/leadership roles at another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music and spending time with his wife and daughters.