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In the recent week, we have covered the topic of employee assistance programs. The main reason as to why employers introduce the programs is based on the need to help employees perform better. After considering the various anxiety disorders and the applicability of employee assistance programs, moving forward to formulate such a program could be considered.
Employee Assistance Programs
- Employee assistance programs are offered by employers with an intention to help employees and their household members deal with personal problems that might affect their work performance, health and well-being.
- The programs are designed in such a manner that employees can seek help on their own without other employers knowing about their participation.
- EAPs offer short-term counseling and referrals for various issues affecting, employee emotional and mental wellness, such as substance abuse, stress, grief and psychological disorders.
- Counseling helps to solve employees’ problems. Therefore, they concentrate in their roles leading to increased productivity and decreased absenteeism as problems are solved.
- EAPs play a consultative role as managers and supervisors help employees overcome organizational issues.
- A manager will consult a counselor, in a case, where he notices a problem with an employee on how he/she should approach it without raising an alarm that might scare off the employee.
- A comprehensive evaluation of an employee’s situation would help the counselor in communicating the general obstacles to the management.
- EAPs offer training services on stress management, crisis intervention, prevention of sexual harassment and organizational downsizing in addition to its effects.
- Training provides a guide on how to identify and handle problems even before they occur.
- The employees are educated and they feel good about themselves thus boosting their morale.
- Due to the fact that these sessions are private and confidential, consequently, it gives the employees the courage to approach a counselor in their time of need without the worry of facing criticism from their workmates.
- Confidentiality is also important as it prevents discrimination among employees, which might arise from the segregation of those who visit counselors with similar or different problems.
- The one-on-one interaction between concerned parties helps employees to open up. This is due to the instructiveness and the fact that the employee gets close attention from a counselor.
- Services are more personalized and proactive support is offered. Solutions are, therefore, custom-made in order to suite a problem.
- The most beneficial feature is the cost of the services. EAP services are free of charge for employees. Thus, they are accessible and affordable to all.
- This allows all employees access the services on whatever level they are in within an organization.
- EAPs provide measurable outcomes and results such as increased productivity from employees and lower medical costs that may arise from depression or pressure.
- Moreover, employees become more motivated as their self-esteem is raised during such sessions leading to reduced turnover, as the working environment is supportive.
- Finally, this in turn helps an organization to achieve its goals as per the given targets.
Employee Assistance programs and Anxiety Disorders
- Anxiety disorders occur when employees are in constant worry and/or fear of an occurrence or event. In an attempt to ensure that such disorders do not affect performance and productivity at the workplace, employers have provided assistance programs for their workers.
- There are various categories of anxiety disorders in the workplace, including generalized anxiety disorder, in which an employee is overly concerned about issues that any other employee would deem normal matters (Craske, 2003). Employees have a constant fear and worry that even he/she is not able to explain. In this case, the stimulus is not focused on one situation.
- There are also panic disorders, which are caused by persistent and brief attacks over a period of time. In order to identify employees with this disorder, one notices the symptoms of shaking, trembling, confusion and/or nausea. Phobias occur when employee has a fear to a specific stimulus, which is usually known by individual. For example, the fear of heights may cause worker to avoid elevators.
Another disorder is the post-traumatic stress disorder. Such a disorder occurs when employee undergoes a traumatic time/experience like sexual harassment. He/she may find it difficult to let go of what happened. This disorder is characterized by depression (Craske, 2003).