For employers that are interested in EAP NSW has a number of providers. EAP (Employment Assistance Program) counselors are people who offer help to staff who are experiencing workplace issues. Larger businesses might have a team of these counselors on hand for their workforce, and occasionally extra counselors are enlisted to assist staff during stressful times, like when they are working to tight deadlines or on big projects, or getting used to a management change. In some cases, staff can receive EAP counseling away from the office, via a scheme devised to help people in work, or via a community agency.
Historically, EAPs tended to be used only by larger businesses, who could afford to spend money on caring for their workers. Happily, these programs are now a key part of most SME and HR managers’ objectives. There are good reasons for this as well.
It has become generally accepted that EAP provision improves staff morale, health and wellbeing. Suffice to say, the wellbeing and health of employees is integral to the success of any business. Employees who feel secure and content are far more likely to work productively.
EAP counselors can assist staff with issues that are hindering their workplace performance, whether they relate to their work or not. Examples of these issues include depression, grief, divorce, stress, clashes with colleagues, alcohol abuse, and adjustments to departmental changes. Counselors can give people tools to cope, along with details about services and schemes that might be beneficial. For schemes that do not fall within a counselor’s area of expertise, the employee will be referred to another agency or professional.
Confidentiality is paramount with EAP services. EAP counsellors do not tell employers, or other parties (including relatives and spouses), that a staff member has contacted them, unless that staff member gives them permission in writing to do so. This policy would only change, if an EAP counsellor learned that someone might harm themselves, or somebody else. In such circumstances, the counselor might be legally required to report the issue to the police.
Sometimes, employers only offer EAPs to their staff after a big event occurs, like a company takeover, a death in the workplace, or a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood — to help them manage. Providing EAPs as standard practice can stop these problems from damaging productivity and facilitate staff retention, which will save businesses considerable sums of money each year.