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Stay Sharp!

Brief counselling through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

You can make health program, work place organizational health and group health benefit decisions based on experience, “feel”, and/or internal corporate dynamics. Many do. But if you want to also marshal data-based change ™ for a better-informed decision, then it is best to know what to do when...

You understand the role that mental / emotional health plays in your life and the life of other employees. You appreciate the potential impact on productivity and costs of poor mental / emotional health. You have experienced or witnessed the personal value of simply being listened to and understood in a time of distress. So now you want your company to pay for counselling on a confidential and time-limited basis to employees in personal difficulty. You are looking at what Employee Assistance Program (EAP) companies offer. You want evidence from published studies, or from employers or insurers already using such services, as to the impact on days absent from work. 

Stay sharp! Would it be sufficient to look at the past year’s record as the basis for identifying who the “highly absent” are? If those with high days absent prior to the program then used the EAP, and then their days absent fell, should you be convinced that this change was due to the effectiveness of the program?  No, you should not be convinced.

The method by which you assess something can easily shape the results, rather than show reality. Each health program and organizational change being assessed, by its nature, can require its own particular research design and analysis. This is so for EAP's, but not just for EAP's.