A lot of excellent Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and Work-Life companies use HRmarketer so we've become quite accustomed to the space.
One of these company's, Harris, Rothenberg International, just released an absolutely fantastic and informative report titled "Working Toward a Culture of Health: Annual Trends Report 2010".
The Great Recession has brought to the workplace a wide array of challenges, some not seen in decades, others completely unprecedented. As employers continues to deal with what some people are calling the “New Normal”, Harris, Rothenberg International's 2010 Annual Trends Report is based on their experiences, observations, and data from thousands of employees across hundreds of businesses who accessed HRI's services the last several years.
Perhaps no other HR vendor has greater insights into the overall health and pulse of an organization than an EAP. An EAP fields hundreds and in some cases thousands of calls from a company's employees and managers on a range of issues from personal family matters to health & wellness to employee/manager relationships. All of which have an impact on employee productivity. As a result, an EAP is privileged to information that even a company's internal HR department and management may not have access to.
And that is what makes this report so valuable.
Some key talking points from the report:
The conclusion of the report focused on the importance of COMMUNICATION with regard to company benefits. Strategies mentioned include:
- Many HR executives report that they are successfully integrating EAP / work-life services with their health and wellness offerings, describing this as a natural pairing that increases efficiency and encourages greater utilization.
- EAP/Work-life counselors increasingly "refer" employees to other key benefits in an organization. Often, after a caller identifies one concern, it quickly becomes apparent that there are multiple significant underlying issues that also need to be addressed. For example, the initial purpose of a call might be to seek financial advice or obtain help in avoiding home foreclosure, but issues of domestic violence or substance abuse might then become evident as the call progresses.
- Branding EAP-Work-life programs under a new name to expand the program’s reach and usage without the connotation or stigma of "EAP" is a growing trend.
- Calls to the EAP have increased every month year over year from 2009 to 2010. In particular, emergency calls have dramatically increased.
- There is a greater complexity in calls to the EAP.
- Outsourcing of HR functions by some companies has resulted in the EAP taking on more of the role of assisting managers.
- Once the unemployment rate hit 8% in February of 2009, more than 50% of EAP participants reported moderate or severe anxiety.
Both HR managers and HR vendors can learn a lot from this data as they look at strategies to support employees, make employees more productive and tailor other HR services to the real pain points of organizations. Download it here.
- Make more employees and dependents aware of the existence of the programs.
- Explain what the programs offer.
- Emphasize that the programs are confidential.
- Create an automatic connection between a need for services and calling the EA/work-life and/or health and wellness programs.
Labels: EAP, Employee Benefits, market research, Work Life