4 arguments to convince your management of the benefits of EAP

To introduce an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) in your company, your management needs convincing arguments as to why this investment in employee health is worthwhile. We have collected facts and figures that you can present to your management.

Mavie editorial team21/05/2024

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Table of contents:

  • Which company goals are a priority for the management?
  • What concerns does your management have?
  • What negative consequences do these pain points have for your company?
  • 4 Advantages of EAP: What are the benefits of an EAP offer?
  • Measurability of EAP needs and EAP effect
  • Frequently asked questions from management: Why is EAP important?
  • What are the benefits of EAP? These skills are trained
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

In this blog post, you will find convincing facts, figures and data that can persuade your management to implement an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) in your company.

What is EAP?

EAP (Employee Assistance Program) refers to confidential, personal counselling sessions that are available to employees free of charge. The aim is to strengthen the mental health of the team and find individual solutions for difficult situations. Your employees develop valuable skills and build resilience in the coaching sessions.

Which company goals are a priority for management?

In order to convince your management of Workplace Health Management (WHM) measures in general and EAP offers (Employee Assistance Program) in particular, you need to know and understand the priorities and goals of your management. And you need to be able to argue why an EAP program has a positive impact on precisely these corporate goals.

The role of management is to make or keep the company profitable. At the same time, the management must also ensure the growth and future viability of the company.
Your challenge: You need to convince your management that an investment in the mental health of employees in the form of an EAP program will have a long-term impact on the company's goals.

To achieve this, you need to speak the management's language. In other words, you need concrete figures, data and arguments to prove that investing in an EAP program will help the company's growth and profitability.

What are your management's concerns?

To show that an EAP program supports your company's goals, you need to know what factors are most threatening to the achievement of these goals. These are the issues your management is most concerned about for a successful future:

  • High turnover
  • Decreasing employee retention
  • Increasing absenteeism
  • Long-term sick leave due to burnout
  • Presenteeism
  • Declining productivity


It is important for successful companies not only to be aware of these issues, but also to be aware of the consequences that each individual pain point can have for the company.

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What negative consequences do these pain points have for your company?

1. High staff turnover

On average, staff turnover costs the company 14,900 euros per position. (Source: Deloitte)

2. Decreasing employee loyalty

According to a survey conducted in 2022, 69% of all employees have only a low emotional attachment to their employer. 18% state that they are not emotionally attached to their workplace at all. Of those who are not emotionally attached, only 20% say they want to stay with their company. (Source: Gallup)

3. Increasing absenteeism

Sick leave in Austria increased by 36% from 2021 to 2022. Mental health-related sick days in Austria have doubled since 2008. (Source: Statistics Austria, WIFO)

4. Long-term sick leave due to burnout

60% of employees with no emotional attachment to the company state that they are "internally burnt out due to work stress". Among employees with a high level of attachment to their company, only 13% make such a statement. (Source: Gallup)

5. Presenteeism

26.6% of employees state that they often or very often work even though they are ill. This leads to reduced quality of work, greater susceptibility to errors, more accidents, longer recovery times and even chronic illnesses and burnout. (Source: Techniker Krankenkasse)

6. Declining productivity

Around 12% of a company's total productivity is lost due to health problems. Of this, presenteeism (working despite illness) accounts for twice as much as absenteeism (absence due to illness). On average, absenteeism causes annual costs of 1,200 euros per employee and presenteeism 2,400 euros per employee. (Source: IGA)

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TIP: When is a good time to talk to the management about the EAP?

  • In good time before the next budget decision
  • When change processes are taking place in the company and employee support is a high priority
  • When recruiting young talent who particularly value employee benefits such as EAP (employer branding) is imminent
  • In good economic times, when resources are available for prevention


4 Advantages of EAP: What are the benefits of an EAP program?

If your management is aware of the impact the pain points mentioned above can have on the company's success, the next step is to make a fact-based argument as to why an EAP program specifically counteracts these factors. The message to the decision-makers in your company should be: Investing now will pay off in the future!

Reason 1: EAP program reduce the number of sick days.

A study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that absenteeism among EAP users was reduced by an average of 30%. In contrast, employees who were similarly stressed but did not make use of EAP counselling increased their days of absence by a further 30%.


Reason 2: When employee commitment increases, there is less fluctuation in the company.

In a Gallup study, 59 % of respondents stated that their commitment to the company increases when the employer offers attractive health programs. Employee commitment is in turn directly linked to motivation and loyalty: 86% of all employees with a high level of commitment plan to still be with their company in a year's time.


Reason 3: Employee stress resistance increases productivity.

According to Gallup, 44% of employees worldwide state that they feel stressed most of the time during their working day. EAP programs help employees to cope better with stress and strain, making them more productive in the long term.


Reason 4: EAP offers increase the attractiveness of the company (employer branding).

According to a Gallup survey, 8 out of 10 employees want their employer to offer attractive health services. These benefits are also a reason why employees stay with the company longer (imputed employee commitment).


Measurability of EAP need and EAP effect

Various methods and key figures can be used to find out how great the need for EAP is in a company. The three most important factors are

  • Sick days
  • Staff turnover rate
  • Employee feedback

While sick days and turnover rates are relatively easy to collect by HR, only a few companies have experience with regular employee feedback.

For meaningful employee feedback, you need a catalogue of questions that is sent to your employees on a regular basis (e.g. monthly).

Questions can be, for example:

  • How do you currently rate your workload?
  • How stressed do you feel on a scale of 1-10?
  • What is currently stressing you out the most at work?
  • Is work affecting your mental health?
  • Does your work affect your physical health?
  • Are you satisfied with the current employee benefits in the area of health?

This employee feedback can subsequently also be helpful in determining the positive effect of an EAP program and presenting it to your management when evaluating the measures.

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Frequently asked questions from management: Why is EAP important?


QUESTION: Why do we as a company need an EAP program?

ANSWER: Because EAP has a measurable impact on our company's key performance indicators.

  • Fewer days of absence: EAP users reduce their days of absence by 30% on average.
  • More employee commitment: Health programs such as EAP increase the commitment of 59% of employees. High employee commitment in turn reduces the fluctuation rate: 86% of all employees with high commitment plan to still be with their company in a year's time.
  • More productivity: 44% of employees feel stressed most of the time during their working day. EAP programs help employees to deal with stress better and therefore be more productive.
  • Attractive employee benefits: 8 out of 10 employees want their employer to offer attractive health services. (Sources: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Gallup)

QUESTION: Why should an EAP offer be a priority right now?

ANSWER: Because key figures such as staff turnover, sickness absence and employee satisfaction show us that we need to act now to ensure the health and productivity of the team in the future. An EAP program is therefore a preventative measure that helps to avoid high costs for the company later on.

QUESTION: Is an EAP program a good fit for us as a company?

ANSWER: For the right answer to this question, compare the values and promises of your EAP provider with the mission and strategy of your company and formulate an attractive statement from the overlapping areas.

For example: In order to achieve the planned growth in the coming years with the existing team, we need targeted health programs such as EAP that strengthen the stress resistance of our employees.

QUESTION: When will we see the positive effect of an EAP program?


ANSWER: You can give your management an initial interim assessment approximately 6 months after the start of the EAP program. At this point, the utilisation figures to date can be evaluated and adjustments to internal communication etc. can be discussed. Remember to introduce regular employee feedback in your company in good time in order to be able to determine the improvements in employee satisfaction and health-related stress.

QUESTION: How long does it take to implement an EAP program?

ANSWER: Create a rough roadmap for management that outlines the implementation phase of the EAP program. Your EAP provider can give you valuable input on the timeframe and initial communication steps as well as provide appropriate communication documents.

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TIP: How do you recognise a good EAP provider?

When looking for a suitable EAP provider for your company, you should consider and clarify the following aspects:

  • How many locations are there for face-to-face on-site counselling?
  • Is the EAP service available digitally?
  • Is there a psychologically trained telephone hotline or similar services as a first point of contact?
  • Does the provider have experience in your sector?
  • Can counselling for family members also be offered (couples counselling, family coaching, child coaching, etc.)?
  • Can the provider also support your company in crisis situations if required (crisis intervention)?
  • Does the provider offer conflict moderation for team conflicts?

What are the benefits of EAP? These skills are trained

Personal EAP counselling primarily strengthens employees' self-efficacy expectations. This refers to the assessment of one's own ability to change something about the current situation.

Employees who use EAP ...

  • set themselves higher goals
  • show more initiative
  • recover more quickly from failures
  • have more clarity about their competences
  • are more satisfied and more productive
  • can concentrate better on their job


Managers who use EAP ...

  • are more confident in dealing with their employees
  • train skills that ensure greater psychological safety in their teams
  • know solution strategies for difficult situations
  • know a point of contact that they can recommend to stressed employees
  • have the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour in a protected environment
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TIP: Who are good "influencers" to convince the management of EAP?

  • Managing directors of other companies who can report on the positive effects in their company
  • HR managers who have already introduced EAP programs in other companies
  • Employees who have already used EAP programs at previous employers

CONCLUSIONS:

There are a number of convincing figures, data and facts that speak for the effectiveness of EAP programs. If your management is aware of these arguments, it will be easier for them to make a strategic decision FOR an EAP program.

Why? Because the scientifically proven arguments that we list in this blog post clearly show that investing in the mental health of employees can demonstrably improve key performance indicators in terms of organisational success (staff turnover, sickness rates, burnout, presenteeism, productivity).

FAQs:

What is EAP?

EAP (Employee Assistance Program) is a measure of occupational health management and describes the offer of confidential, personal consultations that are available to a company's employees free of charge. The aim of EAP is to strengthen the mental health of the team and enable greater stress resistance and productivity. Employees develop valuable skills and build resilience in the EAP coaching sessions.

What are the benefits of EAP?

By using an EAP program, companies can reduce the number of sick days taken by their employees. On average, the days of absence of EAP users fall by 30%. Employee commitment is also increased, which leads to a reduction in the staff turnover rate. As a result, employees stay with the company longer and are also more productive: EAP counselling trains skills that lead to greater stress resistance and productivity. Companies can also use EAP to strengthen their employer branding and increase the attractiveness of the company.

What are the benefits of an EAP program?

Employees who use EAP counselling set themselves higher goals, show more initiative and are generally happier and more productive. EAP users also recover faster from failures and have more clarity about their competences and role. Since employees also solve private problems in EAP counselling sessions, they can also concentrate better on their job. Managers who use EAP counselling are more confident in dealing with their employees and know a point of contact that they can recommend to stressed employees. Managers also have the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour in EAP counselling sessions in a protected environment.

Why is an EAP program worthwhile?

By implementing an EAP program, companies are investing in the prevention of mentally and physically related sick leave in their workforce. They are taking a concrete and measurable measure in occupational health management to combat rising staff turnover, declining employee loyalty, rising sickness rates (especially long-term sick leave due to burnout), presenteeism (attendance with reduced productivity due to illness) and declining productivity. If companies invest in the health of their employees in good time, they avoid major costs in the future caused by long-term sick leave and staff turnover.

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Our Mavie Counsellors will help you with professional and private issues. Get in touch and make an appointment for a personal counselling (assuming your company has a contract with Mavie). Call our hotline on +43 1 585 388 1 or email: kontakt@maviework.care.
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