Employee assistance programs are designed to help employees who are struggling with certain personal problems. By having an employee assistance program in place, both employees and the employer benefits. These programs have been used for over half a century, and even today they remain an integral part of most successful, high-profile companies. For more in-depth look at the benefits of employee assistance programs, keep reading.
It’s important to note that employee assistance programs are designed for personal programs rather than professional. If an employee has an issue related to their job or work environment, the assistance program won’t be able to help them. For professional problems, employers should implement a counseling services as well as a feedback program. This will give employees an outlet to voice any problems or concerns they have regarding their job.
So, when are employee assistance programs used? It really depends on how the program is set up, but it’s not uncommon for companies to provide assistance under the following scenarios:
- House fire or flooding.
- Unforeseen medical expenses such as surgery, chemotherapy, automobile accident treatment, etc.
- Death in the family.
- Becoming a new parent.
- Legal issues.
Depending on the particular type of assistance program in place and how it’s structured, employees suffering from any of the issues listed above may be eligible for financial compensation. The heavy burden of such issues will oftentimes have a direct impact on the employee’s ability to work. For instance, a worker who’s in the hospital for several weeks as a result of an automotive accident isn’t going to be able to work; therefore, the employee assistance program can help pay some of their bills until they get back on their feet.
Employers benefit from assistance programs due to the increased productivity and efficiency they offer. Although these programs aren’t free by any means, it’s a smart investment that pays off with better employee efficiency. Workers have less down time as a result of assistance programs, and this benefits the company as a whole.
Of course, there are some critics who claim employee assistance programs are a waste of money and resources. They claim companies are better off focusing strictly on professional issues rather than personal. On the other hand, proponents of employee assistance programs claim they help to create a more direct and personal bond between employers and employees. If you decide to launch an employee assistance program, make sure the boundaries and specifications are clearly defined on who’s eligible to receive assistance.