COVID 19 has united the world in one giant family, corporates all over the world have taken a philanthropic leap in response to pandemic by supporting the governments with deploying their resources in battling this crisis.
Response of some corporates in minimizing the pandemic struggles and working towards the greater cause has been commendable.
This will again begin with the question that have they been kind enough to their own employees also?, because charity begins at home.
COVID 19 has brought unprecedented mental struggles, despite of the belief that work from home would provide some peace to the employees, the situation has not been quite hunky dory.
Work from home does comes with a myriads of benefits under usual circumstances, but the situation currently is not ordinary.
According to a survey by ginger, a mental health provider, 69% employees have admitted that this COVID 19 pandemic period is the most stressful time of their entire professional career and 43% employees are suffering physical ailments due to mental stress.
The same report noted that 62% employees lose one hour of productivity and 32% lose more than two hours of productivity per day, all due to COVID 19 rabbit hole.
93% of employees hold that that companies which survive COVID-19 will be those who support their employees’ mental health.
With times like these corporates are expected to extend their hand to employees in the form of carefully designed employee assistance programs.
Employee assistance programs have already been in practice in major organizations, but the need for them is now more than ever.
Employee Assistance Programs
An employee assistance program is a comprehensive, voluntary, free of cost counselling and mental health intervention provided by employers to their employees and sometimes also to their family members to cope with personal and work-related problems that may escalate into emotional disorders, loss of productivity, or physical ailments.
EAP includes free and confidential counselling, referrals and follow ups by specialized EAP providers.
The employee assistance programs typically manages the following areas: job stress, counselling for crisis situations like the current pandemic situation ,domestic violence, family issues, relationships, coping with long term illness, separation and loss, work-life balance amongst the others.
EAP: ROI and Benefits
According to Comp EAP, overall return on investment (based on reduced absences, shortened disability, lower health care costs, and reduced work impairment) is between USD 3 and USD 10 for every one dollar invested in EAP services.
The Federal Occupational Health program which studied EAP outcomes based on almost 60,000 clients for over a period of 3 years reported that the number of employees having difficulty in performing their work was reduced from 15% to 5% across all EAP cases.
Besides facts and figures, by providing stress interventions EAPs also contribute to lower absenteeism, increased productivity, better employee retention, increased employee happiness and thus also propelling harmonious work environment and improved company image.
How to deliver Employee Assistance Programs?
Vendor Model: This means outsourcing the EAP to organizations already specialized in delivering EAP services. In fact, according to SHRM report 62% employers outsourced their EAP, hence making it the most outsourced HR function.
In-house services: In these the employers employ the EAP staff directly in their organization, this could also work through peer assistance programs in which peers are trained to work with troubled employees.
Considering the present situation, the modus operandi for delivering EAPs would be definitely through online services.
In fact, according to Ginger, which conducted its survey in late March 2020, 38% of employees have tried a technology-based mental health service, in an attempt to cope up with the increased stress and anxiety, the figures have direct indication to COVID induced mental struggles.
While choosing the Employee assistance program few things could be taken into consideration like cost structure, credibility of the counselors, and how well the program suits the employee needs.
To implement the EAPs with ease Communicate with employees, educate them, it has also to be ensured that the services will be Confidential and ensure regular Follow-ups.
GreenLattey(GL) is committed towards people development and assisting organizations in people management.
We offer confidential anxiety and stress counselling sessions LIVE on app.
Our trainers are certified and committed towards providing better mental health interventions especially in the wake of current pandemic situation.
The sensible thing to do right now is to accept the situation, build plans in the wake of changing dynamics, invest in the human resources and make the organizational expectations clear to the employees.