Employee Assistance Programs - Revisited

This is a repost from my 2007 archives. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are a valuable resource for employees with renewed stresses in their lives.

Do you remember the Dunkin Donuts man who wakes up and, in a zombie like state, shuffles through his apartment chanting the classic line,"Time to make the donuts, time to make the donuts."

Is he that much different than you, or me, when I wake up, hit the snooze, and finally get up, get ready for the day, pack the backpacks, load the guitar, wake up the kid, dress her, kiss the husband good bye, back out of the driveway, turn left on the road and right to day care, drop her off, and wave the school bus goodbye, turn left at the Texaco, right into the coffee shop."

Is he that much different from what we always do when, as HR professionals, it appears factors outside of work may be negatively influencing an employee's performance. What do we do? We refer them to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We do this a matter of practice, a matter or routine, a matter of necessity. In fact, I do it so often, I do not even think about it. I read a post by the Career Encourager that made me stop and think about employee referrals to EAP. A seemingly simple, very routine statement we repeat often and, at times without thought, can sound very frustrating to an employee.

Why do we refer employees to EAP and how can EAP benefit them? Check out this post. I guarantee it will give you pause and make you stop and consider your communications around EAP referrals, or at least better prepare you to address an employee's spoken or unspoken concerns.

Time to get my coffee, time to get my coffee. . .

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