As the cost of living crisis impacts households across the UK, employers are increasingly recognising that free, accessible wellbeing support can be a key offering to improve motivation and retention among their workforce during difficult times. This, perhaps, is why around 75% of UK employers now offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to their staff, providing access to mental health services, everyday advice, and more.
In fact, use of EAP services has seen a huge uptake in recent years – data from the EAPA shows that employees’ EAP benefits use has been steadily rising since the pandemic. As a result, the average ROI of an employee assistance programme is now estimated to be at around £10.85 per every £1 spent, making EAP services a notably valuable investment for modern employers.
In this guide, we’ll cover what makes an EAP, the primary benefits of investing in employee wellbeing, and how we’re pushing for a new approach to everyday support with our latest EAP product: read on to find out more.
What is an EAP?
An Employee Assistance Programme, commonly referred to as an EAP, is a confidential and voluntary support service provided by employers to assist their employees in dealing with various personal and work-related challenges. These benefits are designed to offer a wide range of EAP services to help employees cope with issues that may be affecting their mental and emotional wellbeing.
EAPs are staffed by qualified professionals, including counselors, therapists, and other experts who are well-equipped to provide support and guidance in times of need. These support lines can address a multitude of concerns, including stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship issues, financial problems, and more.
Introducing our new EAP provider, Vivup
This September, Medicash relaunched our Employee Assistance Programme in partnership with the award-winning wellbeing experts, Vivup. This exciting new collaboration is designed to enhance the range of health and wellbeing support available to Medicash customers by offering a comprehensive, holistic, and most importantly, proactive approach to wellbeing and support.
So what’s new? To start with, it’s important to note that while most EAP services focus specifically on mental wellbeing, the Medicash Employee Assistance Programme has been assembled to take the many different factors of everyday wellbeing into account. This includes a suite of tools to self-assess and regulate physical health factors such as heart and lung health, substance use, dementia risk, and more.
In addition, the Medicash EAP offers exclusive access to hundreds of resources, podcasts, video guides, mental wellbeing courses, and more to help bolster users’ everyday wellbeing efforts.
How do EAPs work?
EAPs are designed to offer easily accessible, in-the-moment support – but not every EAP service is the same or offers the same benefits!
The Medicash EAP is designed to facilitate a simple, step-by-step support system that keeps sharing a concern or worry as stress-free as possible. Here’s how that works:
- Step 1 – Employee awareness. Employers inform their workforce about their EAP service and how to access its benefits, often by distributing promotional materials and holding awareness sessions.
- Step 2 – Confidential access. Employees can confidentially access our EAP services either over the phone or online via the Your Care platform. Confidentiality is a fundamental aspect of EAPs, as it encourages employees to seek help without fear of judgment or repercussions.
- Step 3 – Assessment and referral. When an employee reaches out to our EAP, they’ll have an initial assessment to determine the nature and severity of their concerns. Based on this assessment, the team of qualified professionals at Vivup can offer in-the-moment support, short-term counselling, or even refer the employee to an appropriate specialist or service if long-term support is needed.
- Step 4 – Support and follow-up. Most EAPs provide short-term counselling to address immediate issues; with Medicash’s EAP, we’re now able to offer ongoing support by scheduling up to 8 counselling sessions with an employee, to ensure that employees are making progress and receiving the assistance they require.
- Step 5 – Resources and tools. Beyond counselling, our EAP is bursting with valuable resources, tools, and materials on various topics related to employee wellbeing. These include stress management, financial planning, work-life balance, and more.
Benefits of an EAP
As a key investment in everyday wellbeing, employee assistance programmes offer a wide array of benefits to both employees and employers. Some of the top benefits include:
Employee Wellbeing: EAPs play a crucial role in supporting employee mental health and emotional wellbeing. In times of stress or personal crisis, employees can turn to their EAP for guidance and support, helping them navigate difficult situations more effectively.
Increased Productivity: When employees receive the necessary assistance to address personal issues, they’re more likely to remain focused and productive at work. As such, EAPs can also help reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism, ensuring that employees are mentally and emotionally present on the job.
Cost Savings: By taking a proactive approach to wellbeing and addressing issues before they escalate, our EAP can help employers save money on lost productivity and even potential tribunal costs, preventing employee concerns from turning into more significant problems.
Improved Employee Engagement: Employees who feel valued and supported by their employers are more likely to be engaged and satisfied in their roles – that’s why our EAP benefits have been carefully chosen to bolster employers’ commitment to everyday wellbeing, boosting both morale and loyalty.
Reduction in Turnover: High turnover rates can be costly and disruptive to an organisation. EAPs can help retain talent by offering employees a safety net during challenging times, reducing turnover and the associated costs of recruitment and training.
Enhanced Organisational Reputation: Providing a comprehensive EAP is a cornerstone of great workplacce wellbeing, boosting brand reputation as a caring and responsible employer. This in particular can help attract top talent and improve the company’s reputation within the industry and among customers.
Valuable Resources: In addition to counselling services, our EAP offers a wealth of valuable resources, including online materials, self-help tools, and educational content, empowering employees to take proactive steps to improve their wellbeing.
Online Accessibility: With the rise of remote work and the importance of accessibility, many EAPs – including ours – now offer online services. This means that employees can access support and resources from anywhere, further increasing the convenience and effectiveness of these programs.
We’re incredibly excited to relaunch our Medicash EAP service alongside our expert partners at Vivup. To find out more about the all-new benefits available and how your employees can benefit, get in touch with us directly by calling 0800 011 2222 or emailing us at [email protected].