The Workplace Well-being: A summary of the 2018 Worklace Outcome Suite Annual Report (published on the 4-6-19) analysed 24,363 employee cases in addition to the data provided by a range of employee assistance providers globally & found distressed employees are unproductive for around eight days a month, as opposed to healthy employees who tend to have four unproductive days.
To tackle this issue, organizations are investing in employee assistance programs (EAPs) to help employees tackle personal or work-related issues that may hamper their performance and productivity. Companies are recognizing the impact poor mental health can have on employees and their productivity.
It is not easy for people with a mental health issue to come forward and talk about it, especially in a formal environment like the workplace, conditions like depression and anxiety are still perceived as signs of weakness.
Traditional EAPs are treatment-focused, treating those who self-identify as having issues. The problem with being treatment-focused is that they only reach about the 10% of people who come forward and ask for our help.
Does this mean that EAPs are not effective enough to reach out to the remaining 90 percent of the workforce? EAP Assist uses technology, such as an online self-directed programs, that deliver support and understanding around workplace and personal issues, to reach far more employees.
Technology boosts participation in EAPs from around 10% to around 30%. Using technology to deliver support is effective because employees are likely to feel safer behind a screen and in the confines of an environment that they are comfortable in. The report found that users who engaged with their counsellors online & digitally would not have done so in person.
Technology has the potential to encourage employees to seek help when they need it the most. It also means they can be reached out to wherever they are, and the burden of going out there and seeking help is not entirely on them. A digital program or mobile app can take help to them.
Everyone has a phone, so we can reach people who don’t work at a computer or in an office all day. We can reach people who work remotely or in isolation and we can help them be proactive about their mental, physical and social wellness.
According to the report, counselling through EAPs benefited both employees and employers. The problem employees encountered in terms of workplace distress reduced from 22 percent to 13 percent with EAP intervention. That is a significant drop, and it may be safe to assume that this translated into greater productivity. The report found that the implementation of EAP services restored a total of 2.1 full days of productivity.
A mobile application can deliver short, daily, bursts of personalized content that can encourage an individual to make incremental changes to their behaviours, swapping negative ones for positive ones. This helps employees to maintain their overall wellness proactively.
EAPs can go further than just tackling mental health-related issues in the workplace. For instance, EAP Assist provides holistic care by including such services as nutrition, fitness, legal and financial guidance, interpersonal relationships and many other such services. We don’t just support people struggling with a mental health issue in a moment of crisis, but people seeking general wellbeing.
An EAP can go a long way in improving employee well-being in the workplace and in enhancing the overall employee experience.
To see evidence-based digital programs facilitated through EAP Assist go to: https://eapassist.com.au/digital/
To see evidence-based mobile apps facilitated through EAP Assist go to: https://eapassist.com.au/wellness-apps/