Archive for April, 2018

New ROI tool for employers and EAPs

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in ROI

New ROI tool for employers and EAPs

Last month, at our AGM, EAPA UK announced the launch of the UK’s first EAP ROI tool. This new tool, funded by EAPA UK and developed by Professor Stephen Bevan at the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) is the culmination of two years of research, resulting in the development of an algorithm that enables employers and EAP providers to now measure return on investment.

“For the first time EAP providers and employers will be able to demonstrate the value of their EAPs, using the results to better inform their health and wellbeing strategies and deliver even greater value to employees. Importantly, over time, this ROI tool will also provide a UK benchmark of EAP providers to help employers make more informed judgements of EAP value and quality,” said EAPA UK Chair, Neil Mountford.

Now available on the EAPA UK website, we would like to encourage our members and the organisations they work with to test out the EAP ROI tool. We’d also love to hear your thoughts and feedback at info@eapa.org.uk so that we can continue to refine and enhance the tool.

 

EAPs can help support mental health among middle managers

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

EAPs can help support mental health among middle managers

Last week, the CIPD launched the UK Working Lives survey, the first comprehensive measure of job quality in the UK. Combining previous research on the factors that affect job quality with a 6,000 sample survey, representative of the whole UK workforce, the results show that while overall headline satisfaction with work and jobs is reasonable, there are significant numbers who feel differently, and importantly some major systemic issues with overwork, stress and a lack of training and development.

It reports that while two-thirds of workers (64%) are satisfied with their job overall, one in four workers (25%) feel their job negatively affects their mental health, while nearly a third (30%) say their workload is too much. In particular, the survey highlights a concerning trend among workers in middle management, indicating that they have too much on their plate, a factor which is having a detrimental effect on their wellbeing. Among its recommendations, the CIPD advises employers address cultures of presenteeism, place a greater focus on wellbeing and encourage more flexible working.

“While many organisations already have an EAP in place to support the wellbeing of their employees, there appears to be a lack of awareness around the coaching and guidance element of many EAP programmes which are there to support line managers specifically,” said Neil Mountford, chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association. “We urge employers to talk to their EAP provider about these services and to work together to more actively promote the training and coaching services available to line managers which can help them manage their day-to-day pressures more effectively.”

You can ready the CIPD’s UK Working Lives Survey here.

 

Promoting EAPs during National Stress Awareness month

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Promoting EAPs during National Stress Awareness Month

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. During the same period, more than 500,000 workers stated that they were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. GPs also report that symptoms of stress are on the increase in the UK, with the majority of GPs (85%) reporting a rise in the number of patients with symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression in the last five years according to a survey by Royal London.

While the majority of work-related stress is attributed to workload, around 1 in 7 people say it is due to lack of support. Yet we know that Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) are the most popular wellbeing initiative provided by employers in the UK. While awareness is growing slowly, a gap still exists between awareness and the services already being provided by organisations to support mental health issues. “The issue here is that while some employees are aware their organisation has an EAP, they don’t necessarily know what it means and how it can help,” says Neil Mountford, chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

“Hosting regular EAP awareness and mental health awareness sessions can help give employees a better understanding of mental health , as well as an awareness of the services and support available to them. Improving knowledge of how EAPs can help will also increase usage of the service. If there are concerns around confidentiality of the EAP, it is vital to communicate that any discussions are private and confidential and will not be shared with their employer. It also helps if managers have a better understanding of the EAP and other support services available so that they can talk to employees about these.

“In order for an EAP to deliver significant benefit and value, employers need to work with their providers to raise awareness and provide education for employees. Organisations that do this will see the long term benefits of a successful EAP and the positive impact on employee wellbeing and organisation through improved productivity and fewer days lost to mental ill health. Line manager education and coaching on how best to manage mental health issues is also a key part of the equation and while EAPs have the capability, expertise and capacity to do this, this is less well known and utilised by employers.

“If take-up of your EAP is low, consider creating events or communications to tie in with key events on the wellbeing calendar and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Ultimately, it is in the interest of all EAP providers to raise awareness of the issue of mental health at work and the role we can play in eradicating the problem and April’s National Stress Awareness Month could be the perfect place to start.”

EAPA urges employers to use their EAPs more effectively

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

EAPA urges employers to use their EAPs more effectively

A recent BUPA survey has reported that mental health issues are now a larger concern than physical ailments for many UK companies and that businesses are observing higher rates of mental illness compared to five years ago.

“This latest report confirms that if organisations want to better support their employees and truly embed a positive approach to workplace wellbeing, they need to treat mental health in the same way as they do physical health. And while we are certainly seeing the government and industry making strides to create this parity of vision, there is still some way to go,” said Neil Mountford, chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

The survey found while around 743,000 UK employees took long-term absences for mental health reasons within the past year, and that it was the main reason that employees did not go to work, more than half of the companies surveyed said that they did not know how to support employees with the challenge. However research shows that EAPs are the most popular workplace wellbeing initiative offered with more than 14 million employees having access to an EAP via their employer (Source: The Work Foundation, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs): Supporting good work for UK employers?).

“While many employees have an EAP they are simply not being utilised effectively,” said Neil. “EAPA UK urges employers to engage with their EAP providers to better understand how EAPs can be used to support their mental health strategy. We know from our members that EAPs are successfully helping employees. Recent figures from the LifeWorks EAP service centre, for example, show that they have delivered mental health improvements in 92% of cases. We also know that EAPs are good for business by the number of employers who renew their EAP year on year and increasingly we are seeing EAPs evolving to offer apps which allow employees to have access to tools, information and support via their smartphone.

“To increase their effectiveness, employers (and their employees) need to challenge traditional perceptions of EAPs, moving the focus to the preventative role that they can play, rather than seeing an EAP as a last resort when an employee reaches crisis point. Just as mental health has become a top priority for businesses, so too should the value of their EAP in helping to better manage workplace wellbeing,” said Neil.

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