Employee Assistance Programmes

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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none get alittle more in depth

This being the day of the great downsize many managers are hurrying to make the cut's and in doing so closely examining their Employee-Assistance Programs for effectiveness. What are they? How do they help? How do they work? Are they worth the hassle?

What are they?

By definition employee-assistance programs (EAP's) give a business the means for identifying employees whose job performance is negatively affected by personal problems. EAP's should arrange for structured assistance to solve those problems with the goal of reestablishing the employee's job performance.

Three ways they help the employer and the employee:

First, EAP's should help in identifying a troubled worker. The two largest problems in the workplace today are drug/alcohol abuse and the stressful effects of downsizing. Many researchers today believe that drug/alcohol abuse is responsible for most modern-day EAP's.

According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependance, 25 percent of all hospitalized patients have alcohol related problems.

Alcohol is involved in 47 percent of all industrial accidents and half of all auto fatalities. The cost totals 86 billion dollars per year due to decreased productivity, treatment programs, accidents, crime and law enforcement.

Although it is most costly at the top alcoholism/drug abuse affects employees at every level of an organization. One company found that in the pervious five years each worker with an alcohol/drug related problem missed 113 days of work and filed $23,000 more in medical claims than the average employee. However, recovered alcohol/drug abusers will frequently credit their EAP for literally saving their lives. By reclaiming highly experienced employees the company also can recover some of their losses.

One of the most painful aspects of a human resource professional's job is downsizing and it probably won't be going away soon. Layoffs affected 1.1 million...