The EAPs of today have expanded in philosophy and scope. In addition to providing assistance with alcohol and drug abuse problems, they provide confidential assistance to employees for a variety of personal difficulties ranging from family, marital, legal, and financial issues to various career problems or other personal, or stress related problems. Through assessment, short-term consultation and referrals to appropriate treatment providers, EAPs are designed to provide the timely intervention for those problems that, if ignored, could lead to more costly and extensive care.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990’s EAP programs continued to grow into strategic business partners as increasing numbers of employers realized the efficacy of EAPs in enhancing productivity and cost savings in helping retain valued, yet “troubled” employees. Thus, the corporate emphasis today has shifted from terminating or punishing the impaired or troubled worker to helping him or her to gain health, improve well-being, and boost productivity.
- Employees and managers find ways to prevent or alleviate personal or family drug abuse or mental health problems that could result in low productivity, excessive absenteeism, job turnover, or termination
- Increased cost savings by decreasing extensive health-care benefits utilization, excessive absenteeism, or job turnover
- Opportunities provided for employees to build a support system, learn new skills and develop a proactive approach to their own health and well-being
- Employee morale and loyalty enhanced, thus establishing a competitive edge in recruiting efforts and maintaining a good public image
- Overall work climate and workforce productivity enhancement