What are Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Benefits and what's covered?

By: Updated: June 10, 2021

A 24-hour crisis and referral center, counseling services, quality assurance, and dedicated management: these are all of the things you can find with the Canadian Employee Assistance Program. Also known as EAP, the Employee Assistance Program has been helping and supporting workers across the country.

With all of the events of 2020, having this kind of help and support can transform your workspace. So, you should look into investing in an EAP program for your employees.

To learn more about EAP benefits and how to access an employee assistance program, keep reading. We're going to cover everything you need to know.


What Is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

You may hear people refer to an Employee Assistance Program as an Employee Assistant Plan. Both terms refer to the same thing.

These are programs that provide employees and their families with access to professionals. These professionals assist in times of crisis. More specifically, they help employees and their family members deal with common life crises.

These may include any of the following problems:

  • Mental health problems
  • Financial issues
  • Familial stress
  • Marital issues

If there is an issue that affects your employees' mental health and well-being, EAP programs can help you connect your employees with help.


What Are EAP Benefits?

Because of the connections that employees can make with mental health professionals, EAPs come at a large benefit. We're talking about the mental and emotional wellbeing of every single one of your employees.

The better your employees are feeling, the better they're going to do at work every single day. So, you should support their well-being. And, you should do so by trusting in an Employee Assistance Program.

More specifically, the Employee Assistance Program works to connect employees and their family members with professional counselors. These mental health experts can help your employees and their family members with a variety of problems:

  • Marital issues
  • Childcare disagreements
  • Eldercare problems
  • Financial troubles
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Problems sleeping

The list goes on and on.

With this counseling, your employees and their families can receive a plethora of mental health resources, exercises, and support. This means that you'll be providing all of these people with anything they could need to get through the toughest times in their lives.

In return, you'll receive strong, caring, appreciative coworkers and employees who are ready to work.


Why Do Employers Like EAPs?

You may be wondering why an employer like yourself should invest in one of these programs. Like others, you may think that mental health shouldn't be a topic in the workplace. In fact, you may believe that your employees' home situations shouldn't come to work at all.

But, that's exactly why you should look into the program.

If you believe that your employees should remain focused on their work tasks, you should invest in this program. It will ensure that your employees are giving their all at the workplace. Instead of having to worry about their home situations or personal anxieties, they can focus on the work of the day.

Let's look at some of the more specific benefits that employers will see with EAPs.


1. EAPs Offer a High ROI

Studies all over the country have shown that Employee Assistance Programs are more beneficial than we once thought. In the United States, you'll receive an average of $4-10 in return for each $1 invested in an EAP.

By working to improve their mental health, employees are investing in their personal health. So, they'll be more likely to focus on the matters at hand while they're at work. Thus, they'll do more for the company during their working hours.


2. EAPs Attract Skilled Professionals

Only the most seasoned professionals know to look for an EAP program. It's a great characteristic to add to your program offers. And, the top talent from around the country will take notice.

You may begin to see these top professionals applying to your positions so that they can take advantage of the program.


3. EAPs Reduce Poor Outcomes

From absenteeism to procrastination, EAPs battle it all. These programs will decrease the number of mental health problems that your employees have. 

Considering that the loss in productivity due to absenteeism was more than $84 billion in 2013, it's time to get this under control.


4. EAPs Increase Productivity

With a decrease in absenteeism and procrastination, you'll see an increase in productivity. Happier employees lead to more productive workdays.

Plus, you may see an increase in job satisfaction. And, those who are happy with their jobs are more likely to work harder.

Overall, you're going to be creating a more positive experience for you and your employees.


Why Do Employees Like EAPs?

There are tons of reasons for employees to like EAPs. From mental health assistance to professional help, you'll find that your EAP program will attract employees like never before.

Let's look at some specific benefits employees may experience with an EAP program.

1. Mental Health Support

Employee Assistance Programs support employees by providing individualized mental health support. In particular, these plans work to prevent employees' mental health from reaching a breaking point.

EAP professionals focus on prevention techniques that can keep your employees from reaching detrimental issues.

Overall, these mental health services can help your team deal with their mental health problems correctly. Given that 24% of workers have taken time off of work because of stress, it's time to get them the help they need.

2. Professional Services

EAPs offer professional and confidential counseling services. How could anyone turn that down?

Your employees will be able to address a variety of personal issues. And, they'll be able to do so without the entire office knowing.


How to Start an Employee Assistance Program

There are many Employee Assistance Programs out there. Be sure to reach out to multiple providers about costs and coverage before making a decision. Also, let's not forget the importance of other benefits like a Health Spending Account for extended health coverage or even intangible benefits like remote work. 


Are you incorporated in Canada?

Small business owners and incorporated individuals in Canada can use a Health Spending Account (HSA) to save on their medical expenses. An HSA is a cost effective alternative to traditional health insurance. The plan covers a wide variety of health and dental expenses. You could save thousands of dollars in taxes with an HSA.


Find out more about Health Spending Account (HSA), download my free guides:

Download the HSA Guide for Incorporated Individuals

Download the HSA Guide for a Business with Staff

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