The corporate world places pressure on employees that can lead to fatigue, burnout and a breakdown in workplace relationships.
Add in the stress of a global pandemic, financial uncertainty, and external family dynamics and it’s no wonder 1 out of every 5 employees has taken time off for mental health reasons in the past 12 months.
It’s easy to think an employee’s thoughts and feelings exist in a vacuum, but every problem your staff face keeps them from doing their best work. Whether it’s conflict with co-workers, concerns about money, or anxiety over COVID-19, these lead to higher staff turnover, absenteeism, lost productivity and lost revenue.
The solution? Employment Assistance Programs (EAP).
Through a workplace counselling program (offered 24/7 by Lifeskills Australia to reduce workplace disruption) you can support your team, and support your business at the same time.
Here are 9 proven benefits of implementing your own EAP.
#1 – Increase revenue
EAPs are designed to assist and support your staff through their workplace and/or personal challenges. This helps them become more effective and efficient employees.
For staff this benefit is obvious; offering help when it’s needed most. But for your business the benefit is also clear. Every $1 spent on workplace mental health programs returns an average of $2.30 to the business.
This is because staff:
- Take less sick days
- Increase their productivity
- Stay employed with your business longer
In short, when you invest in your team’s mental health, it pays dividends to your business.
#2 – Increase productivity
It’s hard to focus on work when personal problems are piling up. The more distractions your employees have, the less motivated and focused they are in the office.
With an EAP program that helps your staff overcome their challenges, you get your team at work more often, and ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Studies have shown companies lose up to 36.6% of their productivity due to employee absenteeism, but when you get your team back, productivity shoots up.
#3 – Reduce absenteeism
When staff are feeling stressed, anxious or under pressure, sick days go up.
In fact, reports from the Victorian Government suggest mental illness causes up to 4.7 million absentee days each year. It’s easy to think cold and flu are responsible for keeping your team at home, but it’s more likely the result of a personal challenge that’s become overwhelming. This becomes a problem where mental health is concerned as there’s no “waiting it out” like the common cold. Conditions like anxiety and depression can cause fatigue that lead to more sick days, creating a vicious cycle
Your own EAP program is a preventative measure designed to identify and treat conditions before they spiral into long term absenteeism.
#4 – Affordable for employers
Although EAP programs are provided by employers, the cost is surprisingly affordable, ranging from $25 – $75 per year, per employee.
This investment in your staff is returned across every facet of your business. Whether it’s helping attract top talent who see your company as one that puts employees first, or slashing sick days to fill your office with motivated and happy people, the result is an affordable service that keep your business moving forward without roadblocks.
#5 – Boost employee retention
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way employees view their workplace. It’s not enough to offer a 9-5 role and financial compensation. Employees will continue to look for healthy workplaces that promote their physical and mental health.
Offering an EAP builds loyalty among your team who see that you value their contribution, but also value their health. The payoff for implementing an EAP can reduce staff turnover and slash the costs associated with training new team members down the line, not just saving money, but keeping your team together over the long-term.
#6 – Slash turnover
It’s only natural employees will come and go, but creating a core team of motivated individuals can help you reduce costs associated with onboarding new staff, and increase output from your team who know the business inside and out.
EAPs help reduce turnover by supporting staff through their challenges. If an employee feels overwhelmed by obstacles in their personal life, or is struggling with workplace bullying, having access to confidential counselling services can make a huge difference.
Instead of pulling the pin and walking away from your company, your staff have an outlet where they feel heard and can work through their challenges, ultimately leading to a tighter-knit team that isn’t constantly turning over.
#7 – Fewer distractions
Problems at home have a way of finding their way to work. Anxiety leads to a loss of sleep, depression leads to fatigue and concentration problems. When your employees are distracted, it’s inevitable they’ll under-perform. For the same reasons you wouldn’t do your best work with a TV and a radio turned up to full volume, mental health and workplace challenges generate noise that distract people from their jobs.
EAPs prevent molehills from becoming mountains and give staff the timely support they need to stop small mental health challenges from becoming major problems.
#8 – Encourage a positive environment
Nothing disrupts a workplace like a frosty meeting or awkward lunch room. It’s true that not everyone will become best friends at work, but a positive working environment is crucial to help your business reach its goals.
One employee with problems at home, or conflict at work, can become less communicative and defensive. This has the potential to impact workplace relationships and disrupt the flow of productivity.
An EAP isn’t just about one individual, but the entire team. If one employee can be supported to feel heard and understood, their outlook will positively affect the rest of the team.
#9 – Attract top talent
It’s easy to think an EAP is about supporting the staff you already have – but there’s a common benefit in the form of talent acquisition too.
More than 1 million Australian workers change jobs each year, making the race to secure top talent a crucial one for businesses seeking a competitive edge. If your business offers the same incentives as a competitor, it’s tough for talent to choose between two similar packages.
Throw in an EAP as a symbol of your commitment to employee health and wellbeing and your company may become more attractive – helping you snare someone with the skills and experience to help your business grow.
Are you ready to give your business the boost it needs?
An EAP is about helping your team manage their life’s challenges while staying productive and focused. Helping support the key attributes of a mentally healthy workplace, EAPs are an investment in your business.
There’s no doubting access to confidential counselling helps your staff, but as these 9 proven benefits show, an EAP is equally valuable for your productivity, revenue and growth.
If you’d like to learn more about implementing your own EAP, call Lifeskills Australia on 1800 870 080. Or, fill out our simple contact form to request an appointment.