How to maximise your EAP investment in 2023 – 3 key factors to look out for
In 2023, employees are demanding more from their workplaces and businesses are recognising the importance of employee wellbeing. It’s now clearer than ever – having a workforce that is happier and less stressed leads to more productivity, increased morale, reduced absenteeism, higher retention, and many other benefits for the workplace.
Demand for EAP services has been increasing over the past five years, particularly after the pandemic. New and existing providers are scrambling to capitalise on this demand, with some offering services that may not meet professional mental health standards. Here, we explain why your organisation might want to choose a private psychology practice instead of a regular EAP company for its EAP counselling services.
When choosing counselling services for your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), consider these three factors – accessibility, sustainability and qualifications. These will determine the effectiveness of the program and help maximise your return on investment.
Mental health conditions present substantial costs to organisations. When employees suffer, organisations suffer. An EAP enables employees, and often their family members, to access short-term counselling services. These are confidential, off-site, voluntary and funded by the organisation.
According to research by PWC, implementing effective mental health strategies will more than double their investment, with every $1 invested returning $2.30 to the company. An effective EAP program decreases staff turnover, absenteeism and compensation claims.
Therefore, it’s important to understand how accessibility, sustainability and qualifications influence the success of your EAP counselling services.
Accessibility and Sustainability
EAP provides short-term, solutions-focused counselling services, usually between 3-6 sessions per calendar year. However, the average client tends to need between 6-12 sessions to see sustainable change and those who suffer from mental health issues usually require longer-term therapy.
Here, the limitations of regular EAP companies emerge. With most EAP companies, your employees may not be able to continue seeing the same therapist after their initial 3-6 sessions. This may be because the practitioner doesn’t have their own practice or may be due to a conflict of interest.
For many, EAP is their first step in receiving professional counselling or mental health treatment. This requires courage, vulnerability and trust, all of which would be developed before and during the sessions with the counsellor. Having to restart with a new therapist is discouraging for most as they would have to begin from square one. Majority of employees would just stop their counselling sessions and return to work and daily life with potentially unresolved issues.
With a private practice, employees will likely be able to continue seeing the same therapist after their EAP sessions end. This will be an easy transition, and they will even be able to access 10 Medicare-subsidised counselling sessions with a GP referral, enabling sustainable change. As a result, employees will get the most out of their counselling experience and companies will maximise their investment in EAP.
Do you know that anyone can call themselves a counsellor? It’s not uncommon for EAP companies to use counsellors without qualifications, skills or experience. This is legal but highly concerning. Receiving counselling from someone who isn’t sufficiently qualified runs the risk of not helping the issue and could even make it worse. This is both unfair to the employee and negatively impacts the company.
Additionally, unlike practitioners at EAP companies, therapists at private clinics work predominantly with fee-paying clients. Due to the nature of their work, they tend to provide stronger client engagement and satisfaction.
It is therefore crucial for organisations to check professional qualifications and use Registered Psychologists for their counselling services.
Looking for an EAP provider?
If your company has decided to invest in an EAP, you’d want to ensure it reaps the full benefits. An effective EAP provides accessible and sustainable services to employees, and this involves working with qualified therapists. New Vision Psychology is a private practice with decades of corporate experience. We are a commissioned partner with the Sydney North Health Network, a Primary Health Network (PHN) established by the government, and work with various organisations across Sydney. We provide EAP counselling as a standalone service or can run alongside existing EAP arrangements. Our psychologists speak 10 languages and are experienced in handling a wide range of clients and issues.
For more information and to get a quote, click here. Or get in touch with us today at 1300 001 778 to see how we can help your organisation thrive.