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Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide support services both on a company-wide basis as well as to individual employees and family members experiencing personal issues and challenges. The structure and operation of an employee assistance program will vary with the needs of each individual company.

EAP Objectives

  • Improve productivity and functioning of the employee population
  • Help employees to identify and resolve personal issues which may affect job performance including:
    • Health
    • Marital
    • Family
    • Financial
    • Alcohol and drug abuse
    • Stress

EAP Basic Components

The following is a summary of basic service components that may be included in an Employee Assistance Program:

  • Identifying and assessing employee problems and concerns that may affect job performance.
  • Establish procedures to determine when to provide short-term problem resolution services and when to make a referral to professional and/or community resources.
  • Provide crisis intervention services to employees and eligible family members.
  • Develop programs and services that support a drug-free workplace.
  • Monitor each employee’s case as well as follow-up services.
  • Consult to companies regarding the availability of health benefits covering medical and behavioral problems, including alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental and emotional disorders.

EAP Policy

When developing an Employee Assistance Program, it is prudent to develop a written policy that defines the program's relationship to the company as well as reinforces stringent confidentiality standards.  The policy should also define the scope of services provided. It is also important to establish basic guidelines to evaluate the effectiveness of your program.

Choosing an EAP Counselor

If you are considering developing an EAP for your company, it would be prudent to consider an outside consulting service with specific experience in serving organizations of your size. Be sure to evaluate the expertise and background of the EAP counselors who will be supporting your firm. Also, identify if there are any conflicts of interest which could include a counselor who has worked for your company in some capacity or may have family who are or have been employed by your company. 

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