Showing That Employee Assistance Programs WorkResearch
The Cost of Not Caring
Organizations that do not show proper care to their people lose employees. Losing employees cost employers money. In her June 30, 2015, article in Bloomberg News, Rebecca Greenfield reported that more employers are changing their emphasis from higher salaries to superior benefit packages in order to attract and retain more talented employees. 1
A typical front-line 6-month tenured restaurant employee costs $5,864 to replace. Here is how that cost breaks down:
|Orientation & Training||$821|
|Productivity Loss 4||$3,049|
More children than ever enter public schools mentally and emotionally ill, battling bi-polar disorder, depression, anorexia, addiction, and much more. 5 Accordingly, 17 per cent of beginning teachers leave the field in their first five years on the job. 6
The job given to schools is to elevate student test scores, but their role entails many more challenges than simply meeting test score standards. Countless teachers fulfill the role of caregiver. The context of these challenges could include the following:
- 75% of principals feel the job has become too complex and stressful. 7
- Researchers at Arizona State University studying the effects of teacher depression on 523 third-grade students found that children who were weakest academically suffered most from a distant or dejected teacher, especially in math.
- A lack of recognition has existed for some time that “teachers can be vulnerable to secondary traumatic stress” because of their experiences in public schools. 8
- High turnover rates for school employees prove to be a staggering cost for taxpayers. It costs a school $20,000 to replace a teacher making $40,000. 9
Minimum Age Workers
According to a 2012 CAP study, it costs $2350 to replace an employee earning minimum wage.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPS)
Employee Assistance Programs are typically one dimensional. They have proven effective in addressing problems of American workers, such as hazardous drinking. (Some studies reveal hazardous drinking among American workers to be 31%.) 10
“EAPs have become a very important and popular institutional mechanism in many enterprises for promoting health and emotional well-being, reducing absenteeism, and improving performance…” 11
An exhaustive study assessing the first decade of the new millennium recorded positive results for EAPs. They not only generated positive change within their organizations, they also saved them money. 12
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services states that businesses that invest in an EAP save between $5 to $15 for each dollar invested. The main reason for this is they reduce employee absenteeism, turnover, and medical claims. 13
Contrary to what may be popular belief, most unscheduled absences are NOT for personal illness. Rather, 24% are for family issues, 18% are for personal need, and 12% are for stress or burnout. Almost two thirds of employee absences are for reasons other than personal illness. 14
Consider an employee who had a hard time doing his job. After receiving help from an EAP, the employee typically found that work improved by over 70%. 15
Sometimes a person’s problems need care from a clinical perspective. An analysis of numerous studies on the impact of counseling on employees found that counseling “represents an effective means of assisting employees to cope with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems, and that the successful resolution of these issues can have a constructive impact on work behavior, in terms of reduced sickness absence and enhanced work functioning.” 16
Moreover, those who underwent counseling found more satisfaction in their jobs. They likewise committed themselves more fully to the goals of their company. 17
2 Oaklander, Mandy. “Doctors on Life Support,” Time Aug 27, 2015
3 Society of Human Resource Managers/Nations’ Restaurant News
4 The Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University
5 Twenge, Jean M., iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us (New York: Atria Books), 2017.
6 U. S. Dept. of Education
7 2013 Met Life Study
8 Hydon, Stephen, Langley, Audra K., Kataoka, Sheryl H., “Preventing Secondary Traumatic Stress in Educators,” Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics (2015): 319-333.
9 Learning Policy Institute, September 13, 2017.
10 “The Cost of Screening and Brief Intervention in Employee Assistance Programs,” Cowell, Alexander J. , Bray, Jeremy W., and Hinde, Jesse M. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, January 1, 2012, 55-56.
11 “STRESSORS AND BURNOUT: THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AND SELF-EFFICACY,” Yu, Ming-Chu, Lin, Chiu-Chuan, and San-Yuan. Social Behavior and Personality, 2009, 37(3), 366.
12 “The Glass Is Filling: An Examination of Employee Assistance Program Evaluations in the First Decade of the New Millennium,” Csiernik, Rick. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, Oct-Dec2011, Vol. 26 Issue 4, 22.
13 “THE EVER EXPANDING ROLE OF THE EAP,” KALMAN, FRANK. Workforce Management, June 2013, Vol. 92, Issue 6.
14 “Does EAP Provide a Return on Investment?” Leadership Today, Federal Occupational Health Department of Health and Human Services, Spring 2007.
15 “The EAP Impacts Absenteeism and Presenteeism – the ‘Hard Data’ Leadership Today Federal Occupational Health Department of Health and Human Services, Spring 2007
16 “The Effectiveness of Workplace Counselling: A Systematic Review,” McLeod, John. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, December 2010; 10(4): 238-248.
17 “The Effectiveness of Workplace Counselling: A Systematic Review,” McLeod, John. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, December 2010; 10(4): 238-248.