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Having an EAP can improve productivity in your company

by , 26 April 2013
Often your employees' performance and productivity is affected by issues outside of work. But now you can improve their productivity and attitude to work without resorting to disciplinary action. Read on to discover how having an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in your company will help you deal with employee wellness issues outside of work before they affect productivity.

An EAP is a 'work-based programme that you can introduce to improve employee and workplace effectiveness by identifying, resolving and preventing personal and productivity issues that may affect your employees,' The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains.

You must see your employees holistically. They experience personal stresses that can affect their work performance. Use your EAP to recognise this relationship between personal and work issues and to try identifying, managing and preventing them for positive change that'll improve company productivity.

An Employee Assistance Programme will help you deal with the following areas in your company

  1. Dismissals for misconduct. In cases where you're considering dismissing an employee on grounds of misconduct for alcohol or substance abuse or sick leave abuse, your EAP may identify that the employee has a serious alcohol addiction problem. To remedy the situation, you can enroll your employee in a rehabilitation programme rather than dismissing him. Doing this also ensures you comply with your obligations to dismiss an employee only for a fair reason and after following fair procedure.
  2. Dealing with incapacity. When assessing the reasons for an employee's poor performance, ill-health or incapacity, you may find in your EAP that the reason for your employee's performance isn't work-related. Rather, it could be an inability to cope with stress, problems at home or financial problems. You can improve the situation by suggesting counselling or treatment without having to dismiss him.
  3. Presenteeism. Presenteeism is when your employee is at work regularly but isn't productive. This could be because of an illness such as depression, arthritis, chronic back pain, asthma or allergies. Use your EAP to identify why an employee isn't productive and help you deal with presenteeism.

Remember: your company's EAP isn't a 'one size fits all' solution. Make sure you tailor your EAP to suit your workplace for it to be much more effective. It must also be in line with your company's other policies and procedures to avoid inconsistencies.

Your EAP won't only benefit your employees. It's also a useful tool for you. By looking after your employees' general wellness, you can improve their productivity and reduce costs caused by absenteeism, poor performance and lost work days. After all, happy employees tend to work better and more efficiently!

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