Employee Benefits

Employee Assistance Programs: Taking care of your employees during COVID-19

The Struggle is Real, but EAPs can Help Heal.

Previously published on the TriNet blog. 

During these unprecedented times, your employees may be dealing with a myriad of emotions such as stress, grief, uncertainty about the future and feeling isolated. As a business leader or a business owner, you may be considering providing resources to your employees that can help them navigate the current events. You may also be asking yourself if you have the tools and resources to support them as they continue to work remotely while juggling different priorities.

As you look at different resources be sure to consider an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This is a great employee benefit that provides employees and their families access to confidential resources to get the help they may need for managing stress or dealing with personal matters. EAPs offer flexible solutions from counseling and wellness to crisis preparedness and management.

According to the 2018 Workplace Outcome Suite Annual Report[1], distressed employees spend more than one-third of their time at work being unproductive and are off sick one full day per month, on average. In addition, employees struggling with presenteeism are unable to concentrate on their job for more than a third of the total scheduled work time (38 percent) – or about eight total days per month. For context, that is more than twice as much as the typical “healthy” employee. In addition, these employees are also absent from work for an average of 7.36 hours per month. After use of EAP-provided counseling, problem rates were reduced for the five outcomes measured in the study: problems with work presenteeism, life satisfaction, work absenteeism, work engagement and workplace distress.

EAPs also provide support for a broad range of issues and typically provide confidential counseling sessions both in-person and online, online tools and other resources such as articles, webinars and tips and tricks. Many EAPs are expanding their services during this time and providing additional resources specifically relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic such as quarantine resources, online support groups and work from home tips.

EAPs are also helpful with managing typical day to day life, providing resources such as tools for nutrition, child and elder care resources, personal development, coping with change and much more. If your company already has an EAP, now is a good time to take a closer look at it and make sure it is providing the level of support that your employees and their families need during this time, and after.

At TriNet, we value being able to offer an EAP to all the small and medium size businesses we support. For more information please contact your TriNet Customer Experience contact.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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[1] [Chestnut Global Partners. (2019). Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) Annual Report 2018: Understanding EAP Counseling Use, Longitudinal Outcomes and ROI, and Profiles of EAPs that Collect WOS Data. White Paper. Bloomington, IL: Chestnut Global Partners (a Morneau Shepell company). Date of Publication: May 20, 2019]

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