Workplace Outcome Suite Annual Report 2021: EAP Counseling Use and Outcomes, COVID-19 Pandemic Impact, and Best Practices in Outcome Data Collection
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractResearch results over an 11-year period (from 2010 to early 2021) for employees who used EAP counseling found significant improvements in work presenteeism, hours of missed work, distress over the workplace, employee engagement in their work, and overall life satisfaction. Also, findings showed these improvements in work-related outcomes were consistently obtained across many contexts even during the challenges of delivering counseling during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The 2021 WOS Report is based on data shared by over 50 different EAP programs and vendors for their users of counseling and other individual EAP services across a wide range of contexts. Among the over 45,000 cases with baseline profile data, most of the cases were living in the United States (77%), with another 13% from China, 6% from New Zealand, and 4% from 37 other countries. The reasons for seeking counseling from an EAP included: mental health issues (30% of all cases); personal life or stress issues (29%); marital or family relationship issues (19%); work problems or work-related stress (19%); with alcohol and substance use issues accounting for less than 3% of cases. The number of counseling sessions used averaged 3.3 sessions per case over a treatment period of about seven weeks. The longitudinal findings are all statistically significant results obtained from comparing metrics at the start of an EAP case and at follow-up about three months after counseling ended for over 39,000 cases with Pre and Post data: The analyses found significant improvements in all five WOS outcomes for the typical user of EAP counseling. Large size statistical effects were found for reductions in work presenteeism and increases in overall life satisfaction, followed by a medium size effect for the reduction in hours of missed work, and small size effects for reducing the level of distress over the workplace and increases in employee work engagement. Importantly, all of these improvements in WOS measures were also found to a similar extent in different subgroups of EAP users based on employee demographic, clinical use, business context, and COVID-19 pandemic time period factors. These industry-wide independent results provide research evidence for the general effectiveness of brief counseling provided by employee assistance programs.
Table of ContentsSECTION I. Profile of Study Sample, WOS Measures, and Longitudinal Results. SECTION II. COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on EAP Use, WOS Outcomes, and ROI. SECTION III. Current and Best Practices in Measuring Outcomes of EAP Counseling. Appendices. References.
DescriptionEAP industry white paper (109 pages) and executive summary (9 pages).
CitationLifeWorks. (2022). Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS) Annual Report 2021: EAP counseling use and outcomes, COVID-19 pandemic impact, and best practices in outcome data collection. White paper. Author: Attridge, M. Toronto, ON.
SponsorsLifeWorks. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA). Attridge Consulting Inc.
Rights/TermsCopyright by LifeWorks.
Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS)
applied research methodology
Employee assistance programs
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
Surveys and Questionnaires