HR Management

EAPs—Helping Your Workforce Weather Their Day-to-Day Storms

In yesterday’s Advisor, we shared 10 ways that your employees can recognize and deal with workplace stress; today, consultant Bridget Miller presents the basics of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), and how they can benefit both employees and the business as a whole.

An EAP is a program designed to support employees by providing confidential assistance when employees face personal problems. This typically consists of providing free services that help an employee get through issues like marriage problems, family problems, drug or alcohol abuse, financial problems, and more. The “help” in this case may come in the form of free counseling or other assistance, depending on the issue at hand.

The most commonly offered benefit in an EAP is free, confidential, short-term counseling sessions to talk through personal problems. This benefit can be offered to an employee and also to the employee’s family. This benefit is typically offered for situations such as:

    • Substance abuse
    • Emotional stress
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Dealing with major life changes such as divorce
    • Relationship problems
    • Financial problems
    • Family problems, including family health problems
    • Work stress
    • Other health concerns
    • Crisis counseling, for either home or work-related situations

Here are some more of the common types of assistance offered in an EAP:

  • Financial planning services
  • Basic legal assistance for personal matters
  • Referrals for more extensive services, such as:
    • Continued counseling or other mental health services
    • Substance abuse assistance
    • Financial planning services
    • Legal counsel for any major legal issues
  • Assistance with the adoption process
  • Assistance finding care for family members, such as ailing parents
  • Layoff assistance
  • Wellness programs, such as:
    • Assistance quitting smoking
    • Learning about weight loss, nutrition, and exercise
    • Managing illness and/or chronic conditions
    • Other preventive health measures
  • Education or information on any of the above topics
  • Mediation services
  • Assistance in finding childcare services

These types of assistance are usually completely free to the employee utilizing the EAP. (As such, there are usually limits on the amount of service that is available free, and referrals are then made to appropriate paid options.)


Considering legal insurance as a voluntary benefit for your employees? Start on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, with a free interactive webcast from ARAG, Legal Benefits—Best Practices for Every Employer. Learn More


EAPs may also offer services at the organizational level, such as:

  • Combating workplace violence
  • Offering education and information on handling many of the issues described above
  • Assistance with difficult work situations such as mergers and acquisitions or reductions in force
  • Emergency planning

Why Do Employers Implement EAPs?

Besides (obviously) helping employees, EAPs are also beneficial to employers. They can:

  • Reduce turnover and absenteeism by helping an employee work through a personal problem before it escalates.
  • Reduce medical costs by helping maintain employee health.
  • Resolve conflicts that relate to the workforce before they worsen.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Help employees stay on the job while dealing with a stressful situation.
  • Function as a means for supervisors and managers to intervene by referring employees to the program when they notice the employee is having difficulties.
  • Reduce accidents by reducing distraction, which, in turn, can reduce workers’ compensation claims.

As these examples show, by proactively supporting employees, the employer can benefit as well.

EAPs are a great way to help employees cope when life’s problems arise, but there are other voluntary benefits that can provide a safety net to further reduce employee stress both at work and at home. One particularly valuable benefit is legal insurance, which can help employee and employer alike. How can you go about offering legal insurance at your business? Fortunately, there’s timely help in the form of a new webcast—Legal Benefits—Best Practices for Every Employer. In just 60 minutes, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the advantages of legal insurance and how it can assist both your workforce and your bottom line.

Register today for this free (thanks to sponsor ARAG) interactive webcast.


Legal insurance can benefit not just employees, but employers as well. Join us for a free interactive webcast, Legal Benefits—Best Practices for Every Employer. Earn 1 hour in HRCI Recertification Credit. Register Now


By participating in this interactive webcast, you’ll learn:

  • What legal insurance is and how it works.
  • How employees can use legal insurance and the benefits it offers them.
  • How it can impact the company.
  • What employers should look for when offering a legal benefit.
  • And much more!

Register now for this webcast.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. (Mountain)
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit

This program has been approved for 1 recertification credit hour toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

Join us on Wednesday, June 3 for the free, in-depth Legal Benefits—Best Practices for Every Employer webcast.

Find out more