What if your employee assistance program (EAP) was one of the first places employees turned to for resources and information? This goal may seem ambitious, but the personalized, reliable and expert information and resources offered by an EAP gives it the potential to be a go-to resource for information on topics related to employees’ everyday lives. However, the challenge lies in awareness. 

Tackling the Problem of Lackluster EAP Usage

Life Events Image
We'd like you to meet Gretchen. She's
a new parent who could use some support
from her company's
employee assistance

program. By helping employees like her
at just the right time, companies can
increase their EAP usage.

What if your employee assistance program (EAP) was one of the first places employees turned to for resources and information? This goal may seem ambitious, but the personalized, reliable and expert information and resources offered by an EAP gives it the potential to be a go-to resource for information on topics related to employees’ everyday lives. However, the challenge lies in awareness.

Why does EAP utilization continue to struggle?

Towers Watson reports that while 85 percent of U.S. employers promote their EAP to help employees manage stress, only 5 percent of employees say they use their company’s EAP to help them cope.[i] From this statistic it’s evident that one secret to EAP success is delivering the right message at the right time.

An EAP offers a wide range of support and resources, but individuals find the most value from the program when they are navigating a crisis or life event. When these situations occur, the challenge is to quickly and automatically alert employees of the availability and applicability of the EAP resources. This requires a new strategy for EAP promotion, an approach that centers on events that occur in employees’ lives.

“At any given time your employee population is going through countless life events such as – having a baby, moving, going on leave and preparing for retirement. An ideal way to help employees during these times of change is to provide them automated messages that offer immediate support and resources for their specific situation. This targeted assistance gives employees the information they need, when they need it,” said Mary Jo Davis, vice president of product management for Ceridian.

How does EAP life event functionality work?

Life event functionality combines an EAP’s greatest strength – expert help and resources – with the benefits of HCM technology. To fully understand how this connection works, let’s look at an example of how an employee could benefit from this technology. We’d like to introduce you to Gretchen…

Gretchen has worked for her company for six years, but she’s never taken advantage of the EAP program. In hindsight, there have been times in her life when this resource would have been helpful, but she never thinks to use it then.

A few weeks ago, Gretchen had a baby, and she’s been a bit overwhelmed as she adjusts to life with a newborn. While her baby was napping one afternoon, Gretchen made a list of her new parent to dos, some of which included adding her baby as a dependent, finding daycare and figuring out the details of her return to work.

Gretchen started on her to-do list by adding her baby as a dependent in her company’s HCM software. Shortly after she did this, she received an email from her EAP offering her information on various parenting topics, including breastfeeding, newborn care, postpartum issues, and preparing to return to work. She decided to opt into the communications and received various tips, resources and tools that helped her more confidently navigate her life as a new parent.

Gretchen also called the EAP to get some more personalized assistance. Not only did she receive coaching and guidance that helped her work through her feelings, but they also provided her referrals to daycares in her area. The EAP program was a tremendous resource for help and information exactly when Gretchen needed it. When future big events happen in her life, her EAP will be one of the first places Gretchen turns.

In addition to delivering messages related to specific life events, just-in-time EAP messages and resources can also be sent when a natural disaster occurs or a specific event happens at the company’s locations. The EAP functionality enables organizations to quickly send employees information and resources to help them navigate the situation specific to their location.

“Life events messaging has the ability to transform how your organization promotes an EAP and how employees use the program. While the communication process can be done manually, this task becomes time consuming when you consider sending targeted life events messages to any number of employees, be that 50 or 500. With the connection between Ceridian’s LifeWorks and Dayforce HCM, the process becomes automated, allowing you to provide employees personalized support without dedicating HR’s time to the task,” Davis said.

For more information:

  • Learn about Ceridian Life Events
  • Read Ceridian’s eBook: Boost EAP Utilization and Support Employee Well-Being
  • Watch Ceridian’s video: What does Employee Assistance Program Mean to You?

[i] Towers Watson 2014 Staying at Work Report