EAPs: a secret weapon for small businesses

paper people on yellowDavid Price, of Health Assured, outlines how employers can use a programme to keep staff (and as a result, businesses) healthy.

What is an EAP?

EAP stands for employee assistance programme, and it’s a small business’s secret weapon.

An EAP is a range of online and in-person support services that help staff through personal and professional problems, while promoting general wellbeing. They provide confidential advice in several ways:

  • over the phone
  • online and via apps
  • in person
  • as a referral to other professionals, such as counsellors

When businesses offer this type of care to their staff, they get the best out of them. And in turn, this helps businesses to get better.

Saves businesses money

You may think that it isn’t easy to measure how much you can save through intangible gains such as improved morale, wellbeing and a more harmonious working environment.

But with fewer days lost to sickness, lower staff turnover and a more engaged workforce, EAPs can save businesses money.

Reduces staff sick leave

A less stressed team is less likely to take frequent, unexplained absences, which means that businesses have fewer days where they generate less income.

With the instant support offered by an EAP, and referral to an expert, staff have the tools that they need to either stay in, or return to, full health.

Keeps the best talent

The worse an employee feels – be it their physical or mental health, or general engagement with work – the more likely they are to leave and work elsewhere.

A high staff turnover rate is expensive. Recruitment costs can begin to soar, especially when there is a struggle to replace key people. An EAP gives businesses a better chance of eliminating such problems.

Improves staff health and wellbeing

Nobody’s perfect. Every once in a while we all need a little help through a difficult time. Whether it’s for work-related issues or personal ones, a support network can help to provide staff with coping mechanisms, or ways to take action on, and responsibility for, their present situation.

Boosts performance and productivity

A healthier, happier workforce is a stronger and more productive workforce. Businesses can help employees to get back to their best much quicker if they have an EPA in place.

And employees who feel valued, along with a full complement of staff working towards a common goal, can only help a business to succeed.

About the author

David Price is CEO of Health Assured, a provider of health and wellbeing solutions. He advises employers on how to encourage and develop a healthy workplace, while outlining best-practice guidance on how to combat and control workplace stress.