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Employee Assistance Program (Eap) Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

IntroductionAs a human being, an employee ought to have small or big problems in his / her life (Blassingame, 2003). Obviously, people cannot perform at their best when they have unresolved problems. This paper discusses one of Human Resource (HR) tool to response these problems, it is called Employee Assistance Program (EAP).What is EAP?Definition: "EAP is a worksite-based program designed to assist work organizations in addressing productivity issues and assisting clients in identifying and resolving personal concern, including but not limited to health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress or other personal issues that may affect job performance" (Smith, 2000).Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have become more and more important for organizations as they depend on happy and healthy employees that perform better to deliver profits (Stone, 2005). Managers are using EAP as a resource to help their employees handle work-related and personal problems (Hardaway & Wence, 1996).In practical, EAP must work closely and consistent with HR department to achieve the organizations' strategic HR objectives (Stone, 2005). Employers include EAPs as one of employee benefits (Kirk & brown, 2003).EAPs have been established in some Australian companies, to name a few of them are AGL, BHP, Len Lease and Qantas (Stone, 2005). EAPs employ the most psychologists in Australia (Kirk & Brown, 2003).History of EAPsEAP was first time used in the US in 1950s to encompass largely on alcoholic employees. In 1981, the UK follow the method to combat workplace stress related (Tirbutt, 2005, p.47).In Australia, EAP was first introduced in 1977 as a government funded service to fight drug and alcohol abuse (Nankervis et al. 1996). A decade later, in 1987, a private provider association established Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) and Employee Assistance Professionals Association of Australia (EAPAA) in 1991 (Kirk & Brown, 2003, p.139).Why EAPs?The benefits of EAPs for employees are (Hardaway & Wence, 1996):- Employees have better control over their lives.- Employees see problems as challenges, not as obstacle.- Employees have higher commitment to life after works (i.e. family, personal relationship, hobbies, etc).Further, the benefits of EAPs for organizations are:- Improved productivity through less absenteeism, improved moral, and lower staff turnover (Kirk & Brown. 2003).- Reduced the number of corporate whistleblowers (Gotskind, 2004).EAP is offering many advantages over in light of stress management and known as the emperor new clothes of stress management (Arthur, 2000). The advantages of EAP can be viewed from three different perspectives and from two service sources (i.e. in-house / internal and contracted-out / external) (Straussner, 1988).Advantages of In-HouseAnd Contracted-Out EAP ComparedSource: (Straussner, 1988, p.54)There are more enterprises now...

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