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Employee Assistance Plans Offer Big Benefits in 2021

Employee benefits are an important part of any compensation package. Benefits help employees manage the cost of health care, plan for their financial future and attain a better quality of life. Here, Keith Eller, senior account manager at Workpartners, discusses the benefits of employee assistance programs (EAPs) and an exclusive discount now available to MBA members through a partnership between the Manufacturer & Business Association and Workpartners EAP services.

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) have been around a long time, but they are now becoming a key employee benefit. Please explain what an EAP is and how it works?

At its heart, an employee assistance program is a short-term counseling and referral program. Employers offer EAPs to their employees and their families to provide counseling and Work-Life services. By providing employees with this free resource, employees and their families can receive the care and support necessary to address their day-to-day stressors. Keeping employees healthy through use of this resource mitigates productivity issues and absenteeism. This common-sense conclusion is supported by research studies showing that for every dollar a company puts into an EAP, they get a return on their investment of $2 to $5.

Recent studies show that workplace stress has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began. How can an EAP assist employees and their employers through this difficult time?

Understandably, the pandemic is a major source of stress for companies and their employees. Employees have had to shift to working from home. Companies have struggled financially so employees have been worried about losing their jobs, and many parents have had to manage their workload while also supporting their children doing virtual schooling at home.

Workpartners EAP has been very proactive in providing support to our customers’ leadership. We have provided information and trainings on critical challenges, such as managing children doing school at home to best-practice guidelines for bringing employees back to work safely.

Our EAP counseling services help employees better manage these and other stressors caused by the pandemic. Workpartners EAP offers Work-Life services that include a free consultation with a lawyer for any legal concern or with a financial expert to address any money problem. We also do research to provide information on locally available adult care and child-care services.

What are some of the most common reasons that someone uses an EAP?

Employees use the EAP to address the whole range of personal and workplace stressors, such as relationship issues, anxiety and depression. They also use the EAP for grief and loss issues, and to help with substance abuse.

Why should employers consider offering an EAP program to their employees? What are the benefits to them?

A company’s most valuable resource is its employees. An EAP provides employees with counseling services that help them address the stressors that can arise in their day-to- day lives leading to increased productivity and engagement. Productive and engaged employees make any company the best that it can be which makes an EAP a strategic partner in helping a company reach their business goals.

Workpartners recently rolled out a new App to make it even easier for employees to access information and services. Tell us more.

Workpartners has a new behavioral health app, RxWell. RxWell currently has three programs that deal with stress, depression and anxiety. Each clinically developed, evidence-based program guides you through techniques that help to address your stress, depression or anxiety.

Workpartners and the MBA are partnering to provide Association members with an exclusive 10-percent discount off Workpartners EAP services. What’s the best way to learn more?

This is a great value for any company or organization that doesn’t have an EAP or for any company that may not be completely satisfied with their current EAP services — especially in the midst of a global public health crisis when access to the strongest, clinically proven resources is more critical than ever before.

For more information about our Workpartners EAP services, contact me at 814/504-0284 or ellerkd@workpartners.com.