Employee Benefits

Your Solution for Employee Holiday Stress: EAP

By

Jennifer Kraszewski

| Dec 14, 2018

The holiday season can be full of highs and lows: Finding and buying the perfect gift for those you love – but also, added financial anxiety. Finding ways to relax during time off – but despite our best efforts, thoughts of the looming backlog of work. Parties to throw and attend – and the continual challenges of scheduling and being strapped for time. Family gatherings – but also, family gatherings.

On top of the normal chaos of the season, many of your employees will face a number of daunting challenges this winter. Some will cross their fingers that this year’s travel and gift expenses don’t put them in too much credit card debt. Still others may mourn the first holiday where a loved one no longer sits at their table.

It may feel like your HR department can’t do much to help in these situations. But chances are, you’ve already connected your employees to an indispensable resource. The holidays are a perfect time to ensure employees know it’s there.

The solution hiding in plain sight

Your organization likely already has a benefit in place that can help your employees manage holiday stress and more, in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Depending on the EAP services you offer, you may already be connecting employees with behavioral counselors, financial consultations, assistance finding a pet boarder, guidance on caring for aging parents, registered nurses, community resources – the list goes on. These resources can help your employees navigate a season that may be full of stress, loneliness or depression, but they have to know about it to use it and benefit from it.

What your workforce needs to know about your EAP

Many employees may not be aware that your organization offers an EAP. If they know of your EAP, do they know how to access those resources? Do they know which resources are even available to them?

If your answers to these questions are, “I hope so,” instead of a resounding yes, there’s a good chance your EAP isn’t utilized by employees who need it. And during the hectic holiday months, your employees need it more than ever!

Specifically, your employees need to know:

  • how to contact your EAP provider(s)
  • that EAP usage is completely confidential, as long as they are not planning harm to themselves or others
  • what resources they can access through your EAP
  • that EAP resources are free of charge for them

Making your EAP information easy to access

Don’t let this vital resource go unused. Clearly communicating what your employees need to know about their EAP makes it easier for them to take advantage of it.

Use whatever methods make the most sense to get this information out to as many employees as possible. Be sure to deploy some methods online, in addition to your off-line methods, to reach employees with varying levels of comfort with and access to technology during the workday.

Hang posters and flyers in break rooms, bathrooms, hallways, elevators or anywhere else employees might congregate. Send EAP information out to employees’ homes in the mail. Remind managers to encourage employees to use the EAP should they need assistance managing holiday stress. Finding ways to provide the information to employees discreetly can help with usage.

Be sure to send emails to employees reminding them of the EAP during this time of year. Display EAP services and contact information in a readily accessible area on the company’s intranet or online message boards.

In short, get this information out in as many ways as you can, to reach as many employees as you can. Your company already is paying for this resource. Make sure your employees know they can use it!

About the Author

Jennifer Kraszewski

Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom’s Vice President of Human Resources, has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience, driving transformative, business-focused human capital strategies in high-growth industries to achieve efficiencies, compliance and employee engagement. Kraszewski holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and is SPHR- and SHRM-SCP-certified.

See more posts by Jennifer Kraszewski