Warwick Business and Professional News Add Your News

How to ensure an “employee assistance program” is the right fit for your employees

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) come in all shapes, sizes and pricing options.  In order to choose a plan that best meets the needs of your employees, you should know what questions to ask and the critical components to consider.

“Find out if your employee assistance program provides management consultations and referrals for troubled or poor performers,” said Judy Hoffman, LICSW, CEAP, Executive Director, Coastline EAP. “There should be a system in place for follow-up on referrals to gauge whether employees have improved or need additional consultation.”  

According to Hoffman, an EAP should provide on-going promotion to employees to encourage and maintain utilization. Moreover, the EAP should report regularly on utilization so that human resources and benefits professionals can decipher employee needs and actual EAP activity. 

If a traumatic event occurs at worksite, such as the death of employee or an accident, Coastline EAP sends a counselor out to meet with affected staff. Make sure your EAP is equipped to respond in these scenarios.

With Coastline EAP, all family members are eligible.

“We cover all family members no matter how they are related or where they live,” said Hoffman. “They do not need to reside with the employee.  Under most plans, only household members are covered. Coastline EAP assists other family members so that the employee isn’t struggling to find needed services on their own, often during the work day.”

Hoffman recommends asking whether Masters level clinicians are providing the assessment and crisis counseling and matching with needed resources. For those employees or family members with behavioral health challenges, a careful match between their needs and the treatment providers’ skills is crucial to a cost-effective plan of action.

Coastline EAP consultants also look at the practical matters such as health insurance coverage, geographical accessibility and scheduling.

On-site work-life/wellness trainings and meetings are other critical benefits provided by Coastline EAP.

In order to boost and maintain utilization levels, Coastline EAP promotes its services with monthly newsletters, webinars, trainings, and mailings.

“We offer a webinar series to employees and supervisors on what EAP can do for them,” said Hoffman. “Employees and family members are also invited to log on for four quarterly webinars on emerging work life topics.”

Coastline EAP has provided employee assistance services and quick response to workplace crises in over 45 states since 1984. Over 180 companies in the healthcare, manufacturing, finance, retail and transportation sectors, school departments, municipalities, and professional associations use Coastline EAP's comprehensive clinical and consultation services.

For more information, contact Eileen Rafferty, Director, Account Services, erafferty@coastlineeap.com, 1-800-445-1195/401-732-9444.

Leave a Comment

20 million people rely on AmericanTowns each year to find & share local information