EAP Benefit Statistics

EAPs are making a difference in todays workplaces - with as many as 8 out of 10 companies finding improvements in employee attitude and productivity as a result, according to the findings of a recent study. 
      
A recent CCH (an Illinois based provider of tax and business law information) study of human resources executives of companies that totaled almost 800,000 employees found the following results regarding unscheduled absences: 
     
Stress has increased 316 percent in five years as a reason for absenteeism. Meanwhile, employers have lost as much as $60,200 per employee last year (1999). Personal illness and family issues still showed as leading causes - each at 21 percent- followed by personal needs at 20 percent. 
      
Use of an employee assistance program where workers can freely go to cope with stress and lifestyle issues is viewed as an effective means to counter absenteeism and other workplace performance factors and provide employees with the assistance they need. This type of program is strictly voluntary with approximately 90% of the referrals being self-referrals. Supervisors and management try to keep an eye on stress and other problematic behaviors and remind people to use their EAP without forcing them. Sometimes people just need a friendly reminder that confidential and professional help is available to them. Vice president of human resources at a New Hampshire medical facility states, We often find they (the workers) are stressed not only from the workplace but also from the home, and we try to help both. 
      
Study results, which appeared in Spencer s Research Reports on Employee Benefits, published by Chicago-based Spencer & Associates Inc., indicated high ratings for EAPs in effectiveness, satisfaction and employee improvements in a number of areas, and outlined differences between the performance of in-house and contracted programs. EAP, Inc. combines the strengths of both an in-house and a contracted program. Assisting in identifying a problem employee and providing guidance on addressing problem employees while providing confidential assistance to the employee to deal with personal or work-related issues. 
      
Accordingly, it is not uncommon for the well-supported EAP to catalyze reductions on the order of 30 percent in lost time, 60 percent in accident and sickness payments, 50 percent in grievance and 70 percent in accidents while helping to maintain the healthiest possible worker, family member, neighbor, and community member. 
      
In fact, a survey of about 50 companies showed EAPs were responsible for substantial cost reductions, including declines of 33 percent in use of sickness benefits, 65 percent in work related accidents, 30 percent in workers compensation claims, and 74 percent in time spent on supervisor reprimands. 
      
The employee assistance program of a trust fund covering more than 70,000 persons produced $739,870 in cost reductions in medical and sick leave claims in its first year alone. Total program costs of $999,765 were offset by cost reductions of $1,136,994 in medical cost reductions and $602,541 in sick leave cost reductions. Net cost reductions broke down into $123,977 as a consequence of managing problems with alcohol abuse and other drug use, $21,702 in management of marital challenges, $158,995 in management of family issues, $434,771 in management of emotional concerns, and $425, 000 in management of problems involving job stress, financial problems, and other concerns. 
      
Reported dollar savings and loss recovery figures realized by companies through their EAP and related programs are significant. AT&T indicated that over a 10-year period, it saved $22.4 million in prevented heart attacks. Lockheed demonstrated savings of $116.00 per employee in health care related costs, Lockheed divisions not participating in the program were spending 30-50 percent more for health insurance. New York Telephone realized savings of $1,565,000 through alcoholism reduction and about $1.2 million in other behavioral areas. 
      
Another important fact is that the national average of cases remaining within EAP, utilizing the short term counseling component, is between 25- 40%. Our in house statistics show that with good employee knowledge, supervisor training, and employer support of the program, we retain 60% of the cases in house. This provides considerable savings for health and workers compensation insurance claims and costs as well as the considerable savings on employee production and retention. 
      
These figures and statistics are from Employee Assistance Professionals Association, The Non-Profit Times, the Exchange Magazine, and U. S. Labor Department

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