October 14, 2020
Supporting Employees with an EFAP
Work life and family dynamics have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. People are absorbing new, stressful information every day and are faced with uncertainty about what the future holds. Employees are concerned about their health, their loved ones and their finances. Similarly managers and business owners are tasked with new challenges not experienced before such as managing remote workplaces, heightened health and safety standards, employee concerns about job security, safety and commuting. And the list of stresses goes on.
An Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP – also called an EAP or Employee Assistance Plan) is a valuable resource to help address mental and emotional well-being. Via access to personal counselling, online tools and assessments, and other resources, employees get the support they need to survive the difficult times and thrive in better times. For many, an EFAP has been a lifeline throughout the pandemic.
• Talking to their kids about the pandemic (ex. why we wear masks, why we have to distance ourselves, death)
• Talking about their own health concerns & fears
• Stress to relationships/marital counseling
• Accessing resources for managing finances
• Return to school safely tips/tips for successful online learning
• Elder care concerns
• Nutritional and physical well-being tools
• How to transition to work-from-home successfully
• Processing feelings of isolation and depression in a healthy way
For Managers/Business Owners
• How to address employee health & safety concerns
• How to help employees transition to work-from-home
• Helping an employee accept a temporary layoff
• Tools for managing their own new reality and new stresses
• Keeping the workforce positive, engaged, and productive
Although its value may be more pronounced during the pandemic, an EFAP is a valuable resource at any time. Personal well-being and development is a long-term endeavour which can be supported and advanced by having access to the resources and tools an EFAP provides.
Employees may not know where to get help, who to ask, or have an issue they do not feel comfortable addressing at work. An EFAP alleviates that frustration and puts qualified, vetted information at their fingertips.
Tailor your EFAP for your team and take it to the next level by adding in gamified personal and/or corporate challenges; link it to corporate rewards and savings programs; include employee recognition for attaining goals.
The Value of Reports
Plan sponsors can access aggregate reports that will provide valuable insights into their employees’ needs and stresses while maintaining employee confidentiality.
Reports provide statistics of plan usage such as who (employee, manager, spouse, child) contacted the plan, when, and for what issues. An analysis of this data can help direct HR planning, wellness initiatives, and identify where managerial/leadership training may beneficial.
Of course the best program will fail if no one knows about it. Your EFAP provider will assist in getting the message out that you offer this benefit to your employees and will have professionally prepared bulletins and notices that you can access to support your HR and wellness objectives.
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