How to Encourage Employee Participation in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)

So you’ve already or have decided to integrate an Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) into your business strategy! This is a great start to reaping the benefits of EAPs. However, this is only the first step for a complete and successful implementation.

Many business leaders often encounter the problem of low usage rates. It is essential that employees participate before both parties can realise the benefits, and there are a few steps that bosses can take to boost the use of the programme!  

What Do EAPs Usually Include?

Before we dive into the steps, let’s refresh on what elements EAPs usually contain.

There are actually no set standards for Employee Assistance Programmes! This is because the best EAPs are always customised specifically for the business. Every organisation is different and the work culture can vary drastically depending on the country, industry, and size of the company.

EAPs are there to assist employees with any problems and challenges they have in their personal or professional lives. Even though the scope of the EAP can change depending on many factors, here are a few examples of elements an EAP can support:

  • Workplace issues
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Substance abuse
  • Marital problems
  • Financial complications
  • Legal issues
  • Health and wellness
  • Domestic violence
  • Wellness

With so many benefits to the employee’s emotional and physical health, it would be a waste if they do not take advantage of the programme. As the employer, you need to encourage the usage as your employees could be shy or uninformed about using it.  

What Are the Ways to Encourage Employees to Use EAPs?

Just because you have an EAP ready for employees, it does not mean that they will necessarily use it.

Encouraging participation is important for both parties to reap the benefits. Having an EAP is not enough because employees might not even know it exists! Here are the steps you can take to encourage the use of your company’s EAP:

Raise Awareness

The most important step to take is to ensure everyone in the company knows that there is an EAP. Run more campaigns to promote awareness and let your employees know more about the company’s programme. Ensure you routinely raise awareness through internal emails, events, and meetings. This will help keep EAP fresh in the mind of employees and turn to it if they go through any difficulties. During onboarding, you should mention EAP as an additional benefit that they and household members can use with complete confidentiality.

Encourage & Reassure

Admitting to needing help can be difficult for anyone. It is especially hard for employees to tell their employers face-to-face if they do not have a close relationship with them. Take the effort to reassure your staff about their problems and show them that you understand that everyone goes through difficult times. If managers give examples of them using the EAP, it will make them feel even more comfortable taking advantage of the service. This will help you build rapport with your employees and encourage greater participation in your company’s EAP.

Educate Your Employees

Hold short seminars to educate your employees on the programme. Talk about what the programme covers and why they need to take advantage of the EAP. Show them the wellness benefits that are included, like fitness classes, massages, health check-ups, CSR events, etc. Tell your employees that the EAP exists to help them achieve a better work-life balance!

Create a Supportive Culture

Destigmatise conversation about mental health in the office. Increase openness on talking about difficulties and stresses so everyone is willing to share. Make this part of your company culture and sell it as your employer brand.

Choosing the Right EAP Vendor

The importance of implementing an EAP can no longer be ignored by business leaders! Although still a relatively new concept in Asia, businesses here should make the smart move and implement their very own EAP now. However, you should not just go about choosing any service provider.

Asia businesses must choose an Asia-centric programme that is tailored for the local culture. Links International specialises in flexible EAPs for businesses across the APAC region. With a presence in multiple locations and offering 100% in-country service support, Links understands the needs of corporations in different places. Our EAPs are flexible enough to adjust to meet specific requirements. Learn more about how we can build the perfect EAP for your business by contacting our team now!    

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

Implement an Employee Assistance Programme to reap the benefits