7 Things you should know about EAPs – and how they’re changing

Stephen Galliano, clinical psychologist and Chief Customer Officer at Workplace Options highlights the value EAP provision can play in engaging, and retaining, your staff.

Yugi the Giraffe - 20 April 2022

"We are seeing more and more people talking to us about the difficulties of being productive and being effective at work because of home working circumstances,” says Stephen Galliano, clinical psychologist and Chief Customer Officer at Workplace Options. “And younger people are probably overrepresented in that population of people who are experiencing these difficulties.”

As the Great Resignation continues to impact the business world, Stephen highlights the value EAP provision can play in engaging, and retaining, your staff.

From valuable data to services you may not know about, here Stephen highlights how an EAP service can benefit your business.

1) There’s a switch to preventative treatment

“About 65% of all of our calls are typically mental health-related and usually result in counselling in one form or another,” says Stephen. “But we are trying to broaden the appeal of the EAP, so that people don't just see it as a last resort, with a new programme of services: a six-session mindfulness training on the phone, one-to-one, for anybody that wants it through the Aware programme. It’s a proactive preventive programme where we encourage people to call us not because they have a mental health issue, but because they're concerned that they are under some sort of pressure. And if that were to continue, it could evolve into a mental health problem: sleeping difficulties, or an inability to disconnect from work life over the weekends.”

2) Globalisation has changed EAP

“The globalisation of EAP has been a big trend in the last 15 to 20 years,” says Stephen. The shift to digital service delivery means this is likely to increase. “But already, companies that are global can now offer these programmes to their employees from Spain to Singapore.”

3) EAP offers other services too

“Primarily it covers counselling and work-life support – but there's legal information provided to people, financial support in terms of debt, in terms of understanding financial mechanisms. About 60% of all of our calls are typically mental health related and result in counselling. Programmes such as the mindfulness training also take a proactive, preventative approach.”

4) Communication is key to engagement levels

“The level of engagement that we see from our clients is driven very much by how well the programme is promoted and understood by employees of the organisations. If they fully understand what it is, and if they don't see it as if they don't see any blocks to accessing it, then we find the utilisation levels.”

5)People typically reach out with mental health issues

“About 65% of all of our calls are typically mental health related and usually result in counselling in one form or another,” says Stephen. “But we are trying to broaden the appeal of the EAP, so that people don't just see it as a last resort.”

6) COVID-19 accelerated the shift to technology solutions

“90% of counselling was done in person pre-Covid. Now I would say only 10% to 15% is done in person – with the majority now taking place via telephone or video call.”

7) An EAP programme gives you hard-to-reach data

“We give feedback on trends – if we've noticed that in a location, you've got a high prevalence of bullying cases, for example. These are priceless gems that we can give to clients,” explains Stephen.

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