Making your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) a well-used and indispensable resource for your employees will not happen automatically. You have to promote the benefits, ease of use, and how your company is helping employees manage their lives better. Sounds easy, but how do you do it?
Consider the following steps to promote the benefits of your EAP programme to your employees:
Hearing first-hand how helpful your EAP programme is from another employee can motivate your staff to try it. Executives, colleagues, shift managers, HR professionals — anyone with a positive EAP experience can provide a compelling testimonial as to the benefits of your EAP programme, the more senior the person making the personal endorsement the better.
Something we have found works well is to advertise the launch/relaunch/existence of your EAP by circulating a general letter of recommendation from the CEO, (or MD or similar high-ranking individual) praising the service and openly inviting everyone in the organisation to give it a try.
Even better, put the letter up on the staff intranet and make sure to include it with any induction pack materials for new starters. Someone senior admitting that they have used the EAP service, and that it has helped them, can really break the ice and works well against any stigma associated with seeking help, including putting to rest any qualms relating to the confidentiality of the service.
If your managerial teams only have limited knowledge of your EAP service, or EAP services in general, consult with your EAP account manager and see if they would be willing to meet with and provide briefing sessions for your managers. A well-attended briefing and FAQ session for your managerial team can work wonders for word of mouth referrals to the EAP service.
Continually sounding the bell on your EAP is critical to driving engagement. The need for EAP services isn’t seasonal, it’s year-round, so the promotion of it should be as well. Keep an eye out for topical themes and awareness days so that you can team up with your EAP provider and make the most out of any opportunities.
Most EAP providers will be grateful for the chance to engage meaningfully with your employees about the benefits of EAP and should be able to help you with additional wellbeing and EAP promotional material and copy.
No matter how minor a feature may appear, it could be important to someone. Be sure to give each feature its time in the spotlight, be it stress management consultancy, the employee wellbeing website, health and wellness materials, structured support sessions, legal/financial information, child & elder care support, and so on.
Emphasising the features that support a healthy work/life balance is an excellent way to get employees interested in the programme. Organisations whose employees take advantage of these services can experience many benefits, including improved morale, lower turnover, drops in employee presenteeism and being more likely to be seen as an employer of choice.
Most EAP clinicians offer more than just administrative and onward referral services. They are also highly experienced in workplace dynamics, and can help you discover new ways to enhance productivity and morale, improve employee engagement and help support not only employees but also team leaders and supervisors with skills such as Stress Management, Supporting Bereavement, Dealing with Mental Health Issues in the Workplace and much more.
If you want to maximise the benefits of your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), get in touch with us today.