Do you want to start offering an employee assistance program (EAP) for your staff, but you’re not sure where to start? Knowing what services your company needs can be tricky but offering an EAP with a virtual wellness program is a massive benefit to your employees. Employee assistance programs can provide employees with access to counselors, financial advisors, and life coaches to help them overcome many of life’s challenges.
Learning about the top employee assistance programs and their pros and cons is a great place to start the EAP search process!
Here we offer 11+ examples of employee assistance program weaknesses from some popular employee assistance programs (EAP).
What is an Employee Assistance Program?
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) help employees cope with work and life stressors to perform at their best on the job. EAPs are a free benefit for employees, paid for by their employer. Typical services that EAPs provide include:
- Talk therapy
- Life coaching
- Personal training
- Substance abuse support
- Financial coaching
- Mental health support
EAPs are confidential by law and should not factor into employee evaluations.
EAPs at their best are an excellent resource for when employees are struggling with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
When was the first EAP created?
In the 1930s, EAPs started as addiction assistance. Employers realized that many alcohol-impaired worker incidents greatly affected their employees, company cultures, and productivity.
Modern EAPs have expanded to address mental health—and even physical health—issues.
Why get an EAP?
When teams use employee assistance programs, they can improve productivity, lower turnover rate, and improve absenteeism rates. A study found absenteeism dropped among EAP users by 27 percent.
Most employee assistance programs offer benefits, including mental health counseling, financial advising, and crisis management. When using an employee assistance program, staff’s engagement at work grew 8 percent and while life satisfaction jumped 22 percent! These stats show that the investment is worth it—and employee assistance programs deliver a $6.47 return on investment for every $1 spent.
The top employee assistance programs help:
- Lower absenteeism
- Improve company culture
- Increase retention
- Decrease employee stress
EAPs help employers give their people the tools they need to take care of themselves to stress less and work better.
The best EAPs help their clients increase utilization. They help transform company cultures that put mental health and wellness first.
Top Employee Assistance Programs and Their Weaknesses
Companies with the best employee assistance programs are going above and beyond to support their employees!
During COVID-19, the need to provide quality care rose rapidly. With the rise in working from home, the best modern EAPs serve employees’ health needs virtually and provide options for every employee, regardless of their mental health.
These top EAP companies offer the best EAP programs via online and app-based services, but each has weaknesses that you must watch out for.
The top weaknesses among EAP providers are:
- Poor access to care
- Lack of virtual presence and online options
- Poor personalization
- Poor utilization data
- Focused on clinical therapy, which may drive some employees away
- Lack of a holistic mental health solution
- Lack of cultural support
Read on for a list of common EAP providers and their weaknesses.
Related: Your Guide to the EAP Implementation and Search Process
LifeWorks is a top employee assistance program that focuses on recognition and incentives for employees to use their platform. They offer an app that allows teams to request counseling and life coaching sessions anonymously. Their private social network allows for shared recognition of success. LifeWorks also offers financial wellness support and employee financial perks.
Their Weakness—LifeWorks is a very large-scale operation. Focus on large enterprise organizations and offer nothing to the small business owner (under 100 employees).
CorpCare has been around for a long time, offering employee assistance program benefits to companies nationally. Their model provides access to care from professionals through a network of caregivers. Their services include offering master’s level therapists 24/7, language translation services, and consultations.
Their Weakness—They have been around for a long time but are short on innovation and lack a virtual presence.
BHS provides holistic care through an online employee assistance program that addresses employee challenges through counseling and provides analytics on the usage of the program. Their master-level clinicians are skilled at providing care to each employee’s needs, and each case they handle is followed through from start to finish by one case manager. Employees have access to face-to-face sessions as well as unlimited phone sessions with clinicians.
Their Weakness—They are a traditional, conventional EAP, and that doesn’t align with today’s employees’ needs for flexible care options and quick access to care.
Related Article: What Are Some Problems with Traditional EAPs?
New Directions EAP is an online employee assistance program that offers behavioral health services, counseling, and online resources. Their technology-enabled solutions are helpful for the remote work environment.
Their Weakness—Same as BHS.
5. National EAP
Their online employee assistance program combines counseling, wellness, and care coordination to create a combined package offer.
Their Weakness—They are a 35-year-old organization that focuses on one of 50 different programs applied to customers with no true client personalization.
Modern Health breaks down mental health severity into three phases: red, orange, and green. They provide resources for employees that fall into each category. Their in-depth analytics enable HR leaders to understand employee mental health at their company better. Live group sessions help employees connect and heal together. Therapists from all over the world are part of their provider network.
Their Weakness—They offer a small, on-demand content library that does not provide a holistic mental health solution. Their clinical focus may deter some employees who are not interested in therapy services or feel they don’t need therapy.
7. Tava Health
This top employee assistance program puts a heavy emphasis on employee counseling. Tava Health provides therapists specializing in various topics, from addiction to life transitions to depression to relationship struggles.
Their Weakness—Their clinical focus may deter some people that are not interested in therapy, similar to Modern Health. They also do not offer a holistic mental health option (yoga, life coaching, personal training, financial coaching, etc.)
8. Lyra Health
This EAP provider offers very similar services to Modern Health and Tava Health. Their contributions to the world of clinical research are helping to pave the way for even better virtual therapy services.
Their Weakness—Same as Modern Health and Tava Health.
Blunovus is unique in that they offer a text messaging service for users. Their manager training services help managers learn about how to approach mental health conversations at work. As with all top employee assistance programs, they offer quick access to employee counseling.
Related: Actionable Ways HR Can Support Employees in all 8 Areas of Wellness
Finally, Calm and Headspace provide a wealth of resources on mindfulness and guided meditation. They are well-known companies in the B2C space, and many employees are already on the platform. Their apps are very user-friendly and have a large content library.
Their Weakness—Do not offer a holistic mental health solution and offer no therapy or life coaching. Employees can easily access a limited amount of Calm and Headspace content for free or on their own.
Employee Assistance Program Services: How to Choose
With all of these services sounding pretty similar across EAP providers, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. Cost, access to employee usage data, and program accessibility for employees should play a significant role in selecting your EAP. Online employee assistance programs mean more accessible access to care.
We’re all about surveying your employees before making a pivot, so your workers can weigh-in in on which service they’re most interested in. Look for a company that is willing to meet your employees where they are, whether that’s at home or in person. Emerging employee assistance programs even offer fun services that aren’t just for when they’re struggling.
Preventative care such as virtual yoga sessions, guided meditation, and more are all beneficial for your staff’s mental (and physical!) health. These are the kinds of services your team will likely already want. Then, if they need more serious care, they’ll already be familiar and comfortable with your employee assistance program.
When choosing from one of the top employee assistance programs, search for the one that meets your companies’ unique needs and is willing to help your team improve utilization. That is what Nivati’s un-EAP offers. An issue among almost all providers is a lack of motivation to get employees to use the services.
We offer an employee assistance program that works with you, provides the data you need to succeed, and does the heavy lifting to get your team on board.
Nivati is the ultimate workforce wellness platform.
We have a quick turnaround – we can get all your employees set up with us in 48 hours. It only takes minutes to set an appointment with a therapist or any Nivati practitioner. Our utilization rates are the highest in the industry, and we provide live and on-demand resources that support the whole employee.
We make mental health support easy – for employees and employers alike.
See how Nivati works.
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