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Posted by Guy Barbeau, Group Insurance and Annuity Plans Advisor, May 29 2024
Management & HR
The Many Benefits of an Employee Assistance Program


More and more organizations are offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), but it’s still common for very few employees to take advantage of the service. This may simply boil down to a lack of familiarity with the product. Yet, EAPs have a lot to offer! You will find here an overview of their many advantages. 

What is an Employee Assistance Program? 

The Employee Assistance Program offers professional counselling and support services to employees struggling with issues that can affect performance at work. The advice of specialists from various fields can help them solve everyday problems: marital, family, parental, emotional, nutritional, financial, or related to alcohol or drug addiction. 

Some programs also include a wide range of services, such as telephone access to nurses and legal aid.   

In many cases, the EAP services are also available to employee family members (spouse, children or life partner). This is referred to as an EFAP. 

Easy and Free Access 

There are many channels through which users can get a prompt consultation with the EAP. One can select a consultation over the phone, through videoconference or online. In all cases, the user will have access to timely, free, confidential, quick and problem-solving-oriented services

These services can be provided individually or in a group setting, and include career counseling, health coaching, and even online programs.  

The EAP as a Management Tool 

EAP services are not reserved for employees alone! The program’s management coaching service is an invaluable tool that can help managers solve conflicts, manage a harassment situation, approach an employee with a substance use challenge, or address any other problematic issue, with the support of experts. 

Moreover, the EAP includes legal and financial advice related to the operation of the organization. 

Crisis Intervention 

No organization is immune to disruptive events that may unsettle employees, work teams, or even the organization as a whole. Should such a situation arise, the EAP will provide telephone support to management in less than an hour, and a specialized counsellor can go on-site for a group intervention within 24 hours. 

In summary, the following support and tools are available to managers:  
  • Supervised referral to the EAP 
  • Management Coaching 
  • Crisis intervention  
  • Videos and reference documents on health and wellness 
  • Health insights 
  • Training  
  • Health promotion activities for all  

Communicate Your Employee Assistance Program Effectively 

AGA Benefit Solutions recognizes the importance of a meaningful Employee Assistance Program. We encourage organizations to effectively communicate the content of their EAP to their employees in an effort to promote everyone’s health and wellness. Many employees could then utilize the program to resolve various problems, likely improving their work performance as a result. Consider some of the following steps to ensure that your employees receive the most helpful information possible about the EAP available to them: 
  • Personalize communication wherever possible: Employees should feel valued and understood. Addressing specific issues or concerns they may have can go a long way. 
  • Provide clear contact information: Make it easy to access EAP services by including phone numbers, email addresses and website links that will show how easy it is to utilize the program. 
  • Encourage early utilization and feedback: Showing a commitment to improving the efficiency of an EAP encourages its usage. 
  • Highlight the benefits of the program: Explain how the services offered can support clients in overcoming personal and professional challenges. 

Helping organizations make the most of the services available is another way for AGA to deliver on our mission of Caring differently about people. 

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Guy Barbeau is the Vice President of Automotive Services at AGA Benefit Solutions, bringing over 20 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Chambre de la Sécurité Financière du Québec and the Board of Directors and National Executive Committee of the Credit Institute of Canada. Guy holds an MBA from Athabasca University and the professional designation of PCC.
Guy Barbeau, Group Insurance and Annuity Plans Advisor