If your employees are healthy, it is safe to say they’ll be more likely to stay focused and productive at work: reasons why many business leaders implement wellness programs to support individuals in developing good habits with respect to diet, exercise and sleep.
The savviest of employers go one step further. By integrating that wellness program with an additional layer of help for their workers – in the form of an employee assistance program (EAP) – companies can truly maximize the potential of their people.
The current wellness landscape is a bit muddled. According to Towers Watson research, an impressive 89 percent of companies offer an EAP to their employees, but only 50 percent have a comprehensive wellness strategy, and even fewer have made plans to meld the two together. More needs to be done to improve employee health, says Rose Stanley, senior practice leader at WorldatWork.
“Successful organizations are discovering that an innovative approach to well-being goes beyond the employee’s physical health,” Stanley noted.
Fortunately, some definite shifts are taking place as companies begin to reframe their approach around people’s well-being. Leading employers are integrating health into their core business strategies, and “health” in this case includes physical, mental, social and financial elements.
So what exactly does an integrated EAP and wellness program mean for your employees? Let’s take a look at the case of Jeff, a 49-year-old employee of Company X.
When Jeff reached out to his company’s integrated EAP and wellness program, he was connected to comprehensive resources– a life coach to help him with his career, a financial coach to help with money, a health coach for quitting smoking and counseling for his relationship. Recognizing that tackling all of these issues at once could be overwhelming, the integrated program helped Jeff prioritize his needs and goals. Jeff didn’t need to retell his story or bounce around from one website or phone number to another. He had one case manager coordinating and overseeing the resources being offered; the power of integrating the programs.
Here are five benefits that can come out of offering an integrated your EAP and wellness program.
A focus on a consumer-centric health and well-being system
Today’s health system focuses on meeting a single, health-related, top-of-mind concern. Programs look at a participant’s health risk and attempt to solve for that. Integrating the EAP and wellness program allows for a more consumer-centric approach that looks at a number of potential health and well-being issues, including income level, social networks, culture, geography, tech-savviness and more. Is your current EAP or wellness offering a good match for your people?
A convenient access point
The goal of an integrated EAP and wellness program should be to remove barriers and obstacles to obtaining help. Ideally, people should have one common access point for staying in touch with all of their EAP, work-life and wellness services. There should be one portal of all EAP and wellness tools and one number for access to counselors and coaches. In addition, employees should have access in the way that best meets their needs, including the web, tablets, smart phones and wearable devices
Innovative programs and services
Organizations should be dynamic in their approach to wellness, continuing to innovate and offer new programs and services as times change. Innovation is easier with integrated programs as there is one rich source of employee data to mine and adapt programs.
EAP counselors can drive employee behavior change initiatives
An integrated EAP and wellness program allows participants to take advantage of EAP counselors who are uniquely skilled and trained to support behavior change. This counseling approach empowers employees and is more successful with long-term change and improved well-being. .
Easy program management
One point of contact for an integrated EAP and wellness program, translates to one point of contact for oversight and management of all integrated services (an Account Manager). This also means one web-based portal for program reporting!
For more details, click here to watch a webcast recording on HR/com: Integrated EAP and Wellness Equals Improved Employee Well-Being.
As Senior Product Manager for Ceridian LifeWorks, Jennifer manages the EAP, work-life and wellness portfolio. She ensures that LifeWorks services are meaningful to employees and of value to customers by collaborating with employers to address needs, and by identifying and monitoring industry trends. She holds a master’s degree in Education and Counseling Psychology from Boston University, as well as has 15+ years experience in the EAP and wellness industry.