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Ultimate Guide to Employment Assistance Programs

What do you do when your employees are going through a tough time?

When an employee is dealing with challenges that affect their personal and professional life, everyone suffers. Anxiety, stress, relationship troubles – these come to work with your team every day.

For business owners and employers this leads to a lack of productivity and a decline in workplace performance. For employees and their families this leads to mental health challenges and a disrupted work/life balance. No one wins.

To solve both of these problems, Employment Assistance Programs (EAP) provide assistance and support to Perth employers and employees when it’s needed most. As a confidential counselling service, an EAP assists employees with issues affecting their:

  • Well-being
  • Work performance
  • Safety
  • Personal and workplace morale
  • Psychological health

Best of all, businesses receive an average of $2.30 for every $1 they invest in workplace mental health strategies. So the more you cultivate an environment of health and wellbeing, the better off your business will be.

In this article we’ll explain why Employment Assistance Programs have the potential to transform your Perth businesses and boost productivity, and provide a few simple tips to help you get started if you’d like to learn more about implementing your own EAP.

What are Employment Assistance Programs (EAP)?

An Employment Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential service to help employees overcome the challenges in their life. 

These challenges may not be work-related, but they do result in work performance. When finances are stretched, or anxiety is impossible to shake, day-to-day output at work suffers. An EAP typically consists of short-term counselling and referral services to help your team work through the problems they’re struggling with, and get back to optimal performance.

Typically offered as an employee benefits program, an EAP is set up by an employer. It’s a completely voluntary service (meaning no staff are obligated to use the services provided) which can make some business owners question their purpose. In simple terms, an EAP is about investing in your team.

When your staff are struggling – mentally and physically – there’s an increased chance their productivity and efficiency will dip. Problems at home easily spread, and each day your team isn’t operating at full speed is a day you’re sacrificing your full revenue and growth potential.

As your business is only as strong as the employees in it, finding ways to promote better mental and psychological health is about improving the strength of your business as much as it is the strength of each individual – and that’s exactly what your own EAP does.

Interested in learning more about the role of an EAP in a successful Australian business? Learn why an EAP is the secret to a happy, healthy workplace.

What type of challenges can an EAP help with?

When your employees are feeling healthy in body and mind you notice the spark and energy in your workplace. But the opposite is also true, struggles at home don’t stay at home. They come through the front door of your business and impact your team’s output. With anxiety affecting over 2 million Australian adults each year, mental health conditions are always on your staff’s radar.

No matter what industry you’re in, you want your staff to be bringing their A-game day in and day out. EAP counselling helps staff understand the issues they’re facing and develop plans to find constructive ways forward.

EAP counselling can help with concerns relating to:

  • Work related stress
  • Stress and burnout
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Marital and family relationships
  • Conflict
  • Grief
  • Substance abuse
  • Traumatic incidents

As the list above shows, many of these challenges are not work related. But the happier and healthier your employees are at home, the stronger your workplace culture and output will be.

Unlike therapy, EAP counselling is designed to be short-term and problem-solving. Employees often need a handful of sessions and if long-term help is needed, an EAP counsellor will organise an external referral for further treatment.

Who organises the EAP?

Most EAPs are organised by the employer, and provided at no extra cost to employees. As many employees will delay or defer speaking to a professional because of the cost of treatment it doesn’t take much for an average Perth office or business to slow down and stall.

With the challenges of 2020, a global pandemic, and the uncertainty of 2021, it’s likely more employees will be dealing with difficulties that may affect their performance at work. As an EAP provider, LifeSkills Australia offers an employee hotline open 24/7. We understand the need to find a lasting solution with minimal disruption to your schedule, which is why your team can contact our EAP counsellors outside of work hours.

Why use LifeSkills Australia as your EAP provider

The cornerstone of a successful EAP program is confidentiality. Employees want to know their concerns will be discussed privately, and will not jeopardise their role with your company. At LifeSkills Australia we adhere to strict confidentiality agreements that protect your team, and promote better emotional, psychological and overall health.

Our EAP programs are designed to provide preventative and proactive intervention to stop problems from spiralling out of control. Anxiety, depression, trauma – these challenges can quickly worsen if left untreated. As Perth employees look to find normality through 2021 it’s natural they’ll encounter challenges.

As a leading EAP provider in Perth, we’re committed to helping your team find a work/life balance that makes them happier and healthier, which is great for them. But also great for your business.

If you’d like to learn more about setting up your own EAP program to get the most out of your team, call LifeSkills Australia on 1800 870 080. Or, fill out our simple contact form to request an appointment.

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