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Employee Assistance Programs can be Underutilized

employee assistance programs

2 minute read

Financial woes. Legal advice needed. Daycare crisis. Aging parents. Mental health issues. There’s a lot of concerns that can weigh on you while you’re at work. And employers are starting to recognize that workplace performance and productivity can fall into a decline when employees are not at their best. That’s why employee assistance programs (EAPs) have always been an integral part of an employer’s benefit package.

But many EAPs are underutilized. Employees may not understand what the program is all about and the variety of services/resources that are offered. There’s also the stigma out there that asking for help is a sign of weakness. That alone can deter some from getting the help they need.


Promoting Your EAP

Here are three items you may want to mention when promoting your employee assistance program:

  • Don’t just discuss your EAP at open enrollment. Send communications out several times during the year. Let employees know what kind of services your EAP offers. Some may have the false notion that it’s only used for when people are in crisis. An EAP can provide information, tools, and support services including legal and financial advice, health coaching, child or elder care support, professional counseling, workplace challenges, stress and mental health issues, family and relationships, and more.

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  • Help is available 24/7 at your fingertips. It’s as easy as calling a number to schedule an appointment or downloading the vendor’s EAP app on a mobile phone. If your employee is not keen on talking to someone face-to-face, they may be able to talk to a counselor via video, online chat, or text messaging.
  • Employers are not notified if the employee chooses to use the EAP. And conversations with therapists are completely confidential.



Offering an employee assistance program shows employees that you care about their physical, emotional, social, financial, and mental well-being. An EAP can improve and add value to their lives by giving them the ability to reach out when they need help or support the most.

For more information on employee assistance programs, contact your NIS Representative.

Source: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/benefits/Pages/under-used-EAPs-are-a-missed-opportunity.aspx


National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization, or providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”