EAPs are leading the charges when it comes to supporting workplace wellbeing
According to new research from REBA, the Reward and Employee Benefits Association, employers are rolling out wellbeing strategies for their workplaces at a rate never seen before, with some adopting a highly sophisticated approach that includes strategic links to business culture and board reporting, whilst others are pulling together a collection of wellbeing initiatives.
Despite this, over half of respondents (54.8%) do not have a wellbeing strategy in place, although of this group nearly all organisations plan or wish to implement one; 45.7% plan to introduce a strategy in 2017 and 23.8% plan to introduce a wellbeing strategy in the next few years.
The study also confirms that physical and mental health dominate the wellbeing agenda among those surveyed by REBA, with an employee assistance programme being the top wellbeing initiative on offer (88.5%), closely followed by discounted or free gym memberships (77.6%) and health screenings (62.9%).
“EAPs are an effective response to the challenge of managing mental health in the workplace and have been proven to help people cope with the personal or work-related issues that are causing distress. Recent research conducted by The Work Foundation (2016) on behalf of the UK EAPA confirms the importance of EAPs in delivering a personal and professional source of support for employees that, crucially, is independent from the employer and can be relied on to be confidential. Yet an ongoing challenge for organisations offering an EAP continues to be that of increasing employees’ awareness and understanding of the services and type of support available through the programme.
“HR managers surveyed by The Work Foundation reported there is an ongoing stigma associated with the EAP, with employees perceiving it as a counselling service that’s primarily for people with mental health issues, a finding which clearly limits the use of wider EAP services such as debt management, and support for issues relating eldercare and childcare,” commented Andrew Kinder, Immediate Past Chair of the UK EAPA, who is a contributor to the REBA research report.
You can read more about the REBA employee wellbeing research at http://reba.global/files/document/96/1487613242_REBAEmployeeWellbeingResearch2017ESV_web.pdf and find out more about the development of wellbeing in the workplace.