Employee mental health and wellness is a hot topic in the modern workplace. More businesses are recognising their role in helping to support employee wellness. The success of a business over the long-term is greatly impacted by the wellbeing of its employees. Employees who feel that their individual needs are heard and supported are more productive.
If you are responsible for Human Resources in your organisation, there’s a good chance that you’re researching how to best support the wellbeing of your employees. You may be looking at an Employee Assistance Programme, also known as an EAP.
At hug, we understand the importance of supporting your workforce. We know that understanding your team leads to a happier, more productive work environment. Let’s take some time to explore the difference between hug and an EAP.
What is an EAP?
An Employee Assistance Programme, or EAP, are benefit programmes that many businesses offer their employees. EAPs are intended to help employees with workplace or personal issues. These issues may be affecting the employees:
An EAP provides businesses with a means of supporting and assessing their employee health and wellbeing. EAPs will most likely involve employee assessments and / or counselling.
The Growth of EAPs
The modern work environment is a fast paced, changing environment. Modern technological advancements continue to revolutionise how many of us do our jobs. How employers support their employees has also continued to evolve over time.
Nowadays, it’s more commonplace for businesses to proactively seek to look after the health and wellbeing of their employees. Anxiety, depression and stress are common problems that employees deal with on a regular basis. To help provide their employees with ongoing support, employers are increasingly turning to EAPs.
This is evident in the growth of EAPs. Since 2008, there has been an estimated 68% growth in the use of EAPs.
How Does an EAP Work?
Employee Assistance Programmes give employees the ability to access resources and counsellors. Employers do not get any information on how the employee is using the EAP. This can help give the employee confidence that they are able to use the EAP in confidentiality.
The first step in an EAP, is to identify how the employee is currently feeling about their overall situation. This generally takes one or two sessions. From this point, the employee can be pinpointed towards resources that can help them.
Common EAP resources may include:
Financial Advice – Providing employees information on how to manage their finance, debt-management or creating a budget.
Addiction Advice – General addiction advice. This may also include dealing with friends or family members with addiction.
Grief Counselling – Helping supporting an employee dealing with grief.
Mental Health Issues – Providing support and resources for employees struggling with their mental health.
Legal Information – This may include information on marriage counselling or support through family issues.
Conflict At Work – This could be employee related conflict, or advice on dealing with conflicts with management.
The areas that an EAP covers are wide and varied. The topics that are covered depend on the service and provider.
What’s The Difference Between hug and an EAP?
The primary purpose of an EAP is to provide employees with a counselling service. HR managers can direct employees to take advantage of the services offered with an EAP. However, it is largely down to the individual employee to use the EAP to its full advantage.
In a similar vein, it can be challenging for businesses to exactly measure the impact of their EAP. Is it the responsibility of the counsellors to follow up with the employees? Is this something that managers should be doing? How can HR gain a holistic view of how an EAP has benefited their entire workforce?
There’s no doubt that Employee Assistance Programmes can greatly benefit a business. However, gaining true insights and valuable, actionable data from an EAP is more challenging.
That’s where hug steps in. The hug platform was developed to help employers understand the wellness of their workforce. hug goes beyond the standard employee engagement survey and incorporates elements that can help you build a happier, healthier workplace.
So How Does hug Do It?
hug was built with people at its heart. The hug platform focuses on four distinct modules that all feed into overall employee wellbeing:
Engagement at Work
Employees fill out anonymous questionnaires. This then enables company wide reporting. It can provide clear and actionable insights that can identify areas where improvements can be made. It can also help highlight areas where your business is already succeeding.
In addition to company wide reporting, hug has been designed to provide employees with the information they need to improve their wellbeing. Based on the unique responses to the questionnaire, the hug platform can:
Direct employees to resources that will help support them.
Identify benefits that the employee has access to.
Provide real-time support that enables the employee to continually take advantage of the hug platform
Using hug data, employers and employees are issued a hug score. This is based on a combination of the four distinct modules. This means for HR it’s immediately clear if there are areas that should be focused on.
hug also makes it easy to track the effect of your employee wellness initiatives. By setting your desired reporting frequency, you can clearly visualise how hug has helped your team.