Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) offer many valuable services to employees. In addition to personal and family counseling, most programs cover substance abuse, grief support, childcare, elder care, financial education and legal assistance.
Most employees don’t think of using an EAP until they’re in the middle of a crisis. By understanding your employees and their concerns, you can tailor your communications to meet their particular needs. Ask your provider for data on the EAP services most used by your employees. Then create a targeted, year-round communications plan to help employees understand the types of support they can receive and how to take action when they are ready.
- Display posters promoting the most-used services, focusing on one issue at a time. If possible, ask your provider to use images of people who reflect your audience. For example, are they blue-collar workers? What’s their age range and ethnicity? Always highlight the phone number and website so employees know where to go for help. And be sure to change the posters frequently, since different services are needed at different times.
- Dedicate a portion of your benefits website to your EAP. List all the services available (putting the most-used at the top of the list) and provide simple instructions on how to get help. Emphasize that all services are provided by a third party who protects their privacy and never shares personal information with the company.
- Promote your benefits website through a direct link on the home page of your intranet.
- Cross-promote EAP services by featuring a variety of stories in your company newsletter, enrollment materials or postcards. Remember, spouses and other family members may not realize assistance is available, so include EAP information in materials sent to homes.
By understanding who’s using your EAP and why, you can create a targeted, year-round communications plan that increases awareness, acceptance and usage of your plan.