The 2018 Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS) Annual Report finds that EAPs improve employee well-being More than 24,000 cases analysed in study conducted by Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) and other stakeholders.

The Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) in partnership with Morneau Shepell, today announced the publication of the 2018 Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS) Report. Analysing the outcomes of 24,363 completed employee cases compiled from more than 30 different employee assistance programs (EAPs) across 28 countries, the 2018 study introduced a new combined SuperScore measure that demonstrated a 16 percent level of improvement across the five outcomes measured. Results comparing metrics at start of an EAP case and at longitudinal follow-up about three months after counselling document positive and statistically significant results.

Key findings for change over time include:

  • Work absenteeism decreased by 27 percent
  • Work presenteeism was reduced by 26 percent
  • Life satisfaction was increased by 23 percent
  • Workplace distress was decreased by 14 percent
  • Work engagement was increased by 8 percent

Perhaps the most important discovery was that the degree of improvement for WOS outcomes was found consistently across various contexts of how the EAP was used.

In general, there were little or no differences in outcomes based on the age and sex of employee, the different paths of referral into the EAP, different clinical issues, the type of business model for providing, the industry of the employer, country where the employee lived and year. Thus, EAP counselling was effective across multiple contexts of use.

For a business perspective, the amount of lost productive time over the three-month episode of distress was reduced by about five work days (39 hours) in total as a result of EAP use. Most of this improvement was from the reduction in unproductive time while on the job (79 percent of the total), with only 21 percent from reducing time away from work. The estimated cost burden to the employer was reduced by almost US$1,731 per employee user of EAP counselling. Using industry averages for annual program utilization for counselling cases and annual program total cost, the return on investment for EAP counselling was $3.37 for every $1 invested.

“The results of the research demonstrated that there is a good reason for employers to use an EAP to support distressed employees and enhance overall employee well-being,” said Barb Veder, vice president and chief clinician, Morneau Shepell. “After use of EAP-provided counselling, problem rates were reduced for every aspect measured in the study where employees need support. Thus, EAPs help to reduce the risks associated with workplace problems.”

“The WOS Report provides compelling evidence supporting the important role that EAPs play in reducing absenteeism, improving the productivity and healthy functioning of employees in the workplace,” said Greg DeLapp, CEO, EAPA. “When considering whether to provide employees with EAP access, employers should also take into account the impact of counselling on health care costs, accidents and employee turnover.”