When working as an employee retention speaker, I am emphatic about also having an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) that works well. That means it goes beyond just being some “800” number that people call into and get passed on to some provider that nobody has really gotten to know. EAP should be sending people to resources that EAP KNOWS will get the job done for your people. As an employee retention expert and author, I recognize that if people don’t get turned around when they have issues, you will lose them and turnover increases.
An organization’s EAP should be performance oriented. After getting someone’s name, rank and serial number…one of the first questions they should ask is, “How is this affecting your work?” Makes sense right? After all, that’s why you have them there. Here is a quick checklist to test if your EAP is on the right track.
- Are the number of people who are accessing EAP realistic considering the size of your organization? (Low numbers mean your workforce has less issues than other organizations right? NOT! If they are low…find out why!)
- Does EAP understand your environment and the problems your people face at work?
- Have the people answering the phone seen your workplace?
- Have they been briefed about your organization, culture, etc.
- Do they understand the problems your people may encounter at their place of work?
- Does your EAP provide people with mechanisms to cope at work? (People are going to have issues…but…they still have to function at work)
Ask these hard questions of your EAP. You may end up spending a bit more money for your EAP to get one that can answer “yes” to the questions above. It is well worth it. Don’t be “penny wise and dollar foolish” as mom used to tell me. As an employee retention speaker, I tell my audiences the same thing. It is an issue of value not cost of the EAP service. If you can save even a couple of good employees the savings in employee retention will more than offset the added cost of a great EAP. EAP is an employee retention strategies tool…not just a cost item on the budget!