Employee Assistance Program or EAP is a part of the HR policy adopted by some companies for the welfare of their employees that helps them manage day-to-day as well as chronic stress. A recent study conducted by Optum (2016) found that 46% of the workforce in India is facing some or other form of stress. Eliminating the stress related to a job may not be possible however steps can be taken to manage it.
Employee Assistance Program includes benefits for personal growth and a happier life wherein absence of same may lead to poor work performance and affect productivity.
Employee Assistance Program – EAP although gaining popularity but still is not a rampant practice as compared to covering an employee for physical fitness. Most of the organizations would focus only on Physical Health benefits. If they happen to fall sick, meet an injury or accident, the expenses of recovery and healing are taken care of. It is a great preemptive measure to express care for their employees and in times of need would have them covered under a blanket of safety and relief.
Why Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Emotional Insurance?
What about the events and incidents that leave us emotionally disturbed and weak? The injuries that cannot be seen but only felt? What if an employee is just having a bad day?
The basic premise revolves around the concept of physical health as the most important and basic parameter to function well in all the domains of life. As physical illness and physical injuries makes a person weak to function, and physical fitness results in higher performance and morale, thus an employee is entitled to healthcare benefits and insurance.
An employee brings all of themselves to work- which includes their emotions. Research says that emotionally upsetting events either in personal or professional life lead to a certain attitude and behaviour that causes poor performance, absenteeism, and lower morale.
Difficult feelings when not dealt with time can take a toll on physical health- hypertension, weight loss/gain, and cardiovascular diseases.
Surprisingly, according to statistics from National Crime Records and Bureau, a majority of suicide that takes place in India is not due to inability to cope with physical illnesses but the inability to emotionally cope with family problems and relationships.
Thus, it does make sense to protect and insure them from emotional injuries and pain.
Conversely, positive emotions can boost an employee’s energy leading him/her to be a better performer, co-worker, and member. Research in Employee counseling shows after counseling, work-related symptoms returned to normal in more than half of all clients, and sickness absence was reduced by over 25%
An Emotionally healthy employee is more resilient to personal and professional setbacks, builds better relationships, is more confident, and can cope with major challenges in life including loss & major transitions.
Why A Counselor And Not A Friend/Manager?
- A counselor is a trained professional with extensive knowledge of human behaviour. They help you understand it’s why, and assist you to navigate through your betterment.
- There is a fear of judgment. What if it affects my appraisal? What if I am considered weak? What if my intellect is defined by my struggles? A counselor does not judge but understands.
- There is a fear of confidentiality. We may not want our share of concerns to spread all over in the office, or gossiped about. Counseling sessions are always CONFIDENTIAL.
- A counselor does not advise, instead understands your concerns and your unique situation. They empower to help you make your own decisions and gives a perspective to manage your overwhelming stress.
Having an employee walk in a counselor’s door may have its own consequences. The fear to be seen, stigmatized and considered as “mentally unwell”.
BetterLYF Corporate Wellness Program or EAP offers online solutions, where a counselor is available on call, chat, video around the clock. One who hesitates in seeking therapy can try our online interactive exercises that have a deck of activities for a range of concerns.
So next time, when you pool in resources for THAT extra tennis table, do consider what other resources can your employee have access to, for emotionally healthy coping mechanisms.
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