Why Don’t More Employees Use EAP?

It’s an idea that has gone round and round and round for years: Why don’t more employees use EAP? The following are some suggestions that Steve Albrecht, a former police officer and domestic violence investigator with the San Diego Police Department, presented in an online EAP NewsBrief.

They don’t think it’s confidential.  Employers need to continually educate employees about how EAP works; starting with the fact that it is absolutely confidential.  Moreover, EAP providers also need to remind employees that no reports come back to the organization and there is no external record of their use of the EAP.

They feel there is a stigma involved in seeking out for help.  It also cannot be overstated that it’s no sin to reach out for help when you’re struggling.  Reiterate the many ways that EAP can help, including financial problems, marital issues, stress, ailing parents, grief, gambling problems, substance abuse, depression, and others.  Each of these concerns can be addressed competently be EA professionals, who may have a list of resources where they can refer the employee as well.

They think they need permission from their boss or from HR.  Just as the use of EAP is confidential, there is no need for employees to tell anyone, ask permission, go through HR channels, or do anything other than calling the EAP phone number and make an appointment.  Many EAP providers are quite flexible, with day and evening appointments available.

They don’t know it exists.  This is one of the most puzzling, at least if the EAP has done an adequate job marketing its services.  Is EAP mentioned in new-employee orientation sessions?  Are there posters and brochures in break rooms? Forward-thinking EAP providers will come to the organization and lead lunchtime presentations to introduce themselves and offer help on a variety of topics.

Did you know that annual employee orientations are a part of your KeySolutions contract?  When was the last time you had KeySolutions come out and do an employee orientation?  KeySolutions also offers other training that we could present to you.  Please contact us for available training and cost.

Employee Assistance Report, Volume 18, No. 3, March 2015

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