How Small Businesses Can Help Staff Through Personal and Professional Problems

To mark Mental Health Awareness week the Irish News is running a series of articles on the subject. Here Managing Director of Health Assured David Price offers advice to employers on safeguarding their employees’ mental health.

An Employee Assistance Programme could be a small business’s secret weapon.

An EAP is a range of online and in-person support services that help staff through both personal and professional problems while promoting general wellbeing. They give confidential advice in several ways: over the phone, online, via apps or in person, as well as referring people on to other professionals like counsellors.

When businesses offer such care to their staff, they get the best out of them. And that helps business get better. Here’s how…

Saves businesses money

Many think that it isn’t easy to measure how much you can save through intangible gains like improved morale, wellbeing and a more harmonious working environment.

But with fewer days lost to sickness, smaller staff turnover and a more engaged workforce, the ways EAP saves businesses money are clear.

Reduces staff sick leave

A less-stressed team is less likely to take frequent, unexplained absences—meaning businesses have fewer days where they generate less income.

With the instant on-the-go support offered by an EAP, as well as a way to get a fast referral to an expert, they give staff the tools to either stay in or return to peak condition.

Keeps the best talent

The worse an employee feels—be it their physical health, mental health, or general engagement with work—the more likely they are to leave and work elsewhere.

A high staff turnover is expensive. Recruitment costs can begin to soar, especially when they struggle to replace the best people. An EAP gives businesses a better chance of eliminating such dangers.

Improves staff health & wellbeing

Nobody’s perfect. Every once in a while we all need a little help through a difficult time. Whether it’s for work-related issues or personal ones, an EAP support network is the answer.

An EAP is on hand to provide staff with coping mechanisms or ways to take both action on and responsibility for their present situation.

Boosts performance & productivity

A healthier, happier workforce is a stronger and more productive workforce. With an EAP businesses can help employees get back to their best much quicker.

Businesses can show employees how much they value them, which gets businesses back to a stronger position.

And, with a full complement of staff all working towards a common goal, there’s nothing to stop a business achieving success.