While employee assistance programs (EAPs) have been a long-time staple of the business world, they are often underutilized and misunderstood. However, current workplace statistics demonstrate the need for EAPs: 


A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Employee Assistance Programs

While employee assistance programs (EAPs) have been a long-time staple of the business world, they are often underutilized and misunderstood. However, current workplace statistics demonstrate the need for EAPs:

  • 49 percent of workers say stress impacts their work performance[i]
  • 45 percent of the workforce is not engaged[ii]
  • 20 percent of employees are dealing with a significant personal issue at any given time[iii]

Thankfully, an employee assistance program addresses all of the above issues in a confidential and cost effective manner, ultimately supporting employees, managers, executives and their family members. Offering assistance programs has a positive impact on the employer, retention and engagement.

To evaluate the value of an EAP investment, we invite you on a behind-the-scenes look at a real-life EAP. Let’s imagine this EAP as a theme park, and your exclusive tour will provide you insight into the inner workings of this operation. Leading you on this behind-the-scenes tour are Ceridian LifeWorks experts Jen Piliero, senior product manager, and Sharon O’Brien, vice president, EAP Work-Life operations. Let’s start the tour!

Stop #1: Information Booth 

Information booth

Piliero: Within a theme park, the information booth serves as a central location for answering questions and helping visitors discover all the park has to offer. In the same way, today’s employees and their families seek a “life information booth” to help them juggle personal and professional responsibilities. EAPs help individuals combat stress by offering free programs, tools and resources to help them resolve personal legal, financial, relationship and health issues.

Stop #2: Maintenance Building

Maintenance building

O’Brien: The most important “attraction” in the theme park is one that riders never visit – the maintenance building. The workers in this area ensure the rides are performing at peak level. Likewise, your organizations should regularly evaluate whether its EAP is meeting the goals set out for the program. On a bi-annual or annual basis, use the questions below as a starting point for evaluating your EAP:

  • How many employees, managers and family members have used the EAP’s services?
  • Is our organization doing all that we can to promote the EAP?
  • Is the utilization spread across the broad range of services available?
  • Is the EAP providing satisfaction data?
  • What outcome data does the EAP provide?  
  • Are managers using the program to obtain support on issues such as managing teams, handling difficult employees, addressing crises?

The answers to these questions will guide your organization on which EAP initiatives are working and which ones need to be reevaluated.

Stop #3: Concession Stands 

Concession stand

Piliero: In a theme park, concession stands provide visitors’ nourishment, which impacts their happiness and willingness to remain in the park for extended visits. Within organizations, employer-based assistance programs have been proven to have a positive impact on worker productivity and retention.

For Ceridian LifeWorks customers, the impact of the EAP program is tremendous. Consider these statistics:

  • 62 percent of LifeWorks users report improved productivity
  • 65 percent missed less work
  • 68 percent stayed with their employer longer
  • LifeWorks customers recover 4,600 employee hours each week

Stop #4: The Mega Roller Coaster

Mega roller coaster

O’Brien: At the theme park, visitors sometimes need encouragement to ride the mega roller coaster. Similarly, management may need a nudge before they are ready to invest in an EAP. When introducing a new HR initiative to executives, be sure to present data on how the EAP will affect the organization’s bottom line. Share research on how other organizations have used EAPs to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and improve retention.

Additionally, you should highlight how an EAP meets the unique needs of employees of all levels, including entry-level workers, managers, executives and everyone in between. Since the program is open to family members of employees, EAPs have a bigger ripple effect than many executives first consider.

For more information:

  • View our video on the benefits of value dashboards
  • Learn about Ceridian LifeWorks


[i] Ebn.benefitnews.com

[ii] Dale Carnegie Training

[iii] “The Ever Expanding Role of EAPs” Workforce.com