• EAP Industry Outcomes for Employee Absenteeism and Presenteeism: A Global Research Analysis

      Attridge, Mark (2016-11-02)
      This study standardized the results from a variety of different client- and clinician-rated measures of work absence and work productivity that were collected at pre and post use of the EAP. This super dataset represents the experiences of over 240,000 individual employees users of EAP counseling over 20 years of service delivery from 20 different EAPs in six countries (Australia, Canada, China, Netherlands, South Africa and the United States). The change in absenteeism showed a reduction in work absence from an average of 13.04 hours per case per month before EAP to 6.44 hours during the most recent month at follow-up after use of EAP counseling. For presenteeism, the average employee user of the EAP was functioning at a 64% level of productivity during the month before use of the EAP (on a 0-100% scale; with the typical “healthy” employee at 84%). But this initial rather severe deficit changed to a more normal level of 79% when assessed several months later at follow-up after completing EAP counseling. When using a standard full-time work schedule of 160 hours a month and adjusting the total time at work for absence hours when not at work at Pre and Post periods, this level of unproductivity is equivalent to a total of 52.9 hours of presenteeism before use of the EAP and 32.3 hours after the use of EAP. When absenteeism and presenteeism are combined, the month before use of EAP was 66.0 hours and the month after at follow-up was 39.7. This is a difference in which the typical EAP counseling case experienced 27.25 hours less of lost productive time (i.e., 6.6 fewer hours of missed work (absenteeism) and 20.7 fewer hours of lost productive time while at work (presenteeism) per month after use of the EAP). Note that presenteeism accounts for about 80% of the 27.2 total hours of restored work productivity after EAP counseling. Preventing 3.4 days of lost productivity per month is a substantial outcome considering that the true effect of EAP counseling is several times larger taking into account that the typical course of clinical distress if untreated could extend for a period of several months with varying levels of severity and associated work impairment.
    • An EAP intervention protocol for occupational health nurses.

      Csiernik, Rick (American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, 1990-09-02)
      A formal intervention protocol for occupational health nurses in provided focusing on knowledge and skills required when providing EAP counselling.
    • Evaluating the Workplace Effects of EAP Counseling

      Sharar, David A., 1961-; Pompe, John C.; Lennox, Richard (Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM), 2012-11)
      Despite the popularity and prevalence of employee assistance Programs (EAPs), and the historical emphasis on how EAP can improve work performance, there has been very little rigorous evaluation of the workplace effects of EAP counseling. The aim of this outcome study was to examine if and to what degree EAP counseling correlates with improved workplace effectiveness. The sample included 197 subjects all employed by two Fortune 100 companies who received EAP counseling via an EAP affiliate provider in 2010. The Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS), a five-item, five scale outcome tool specifically designed for EAPs, was utilized as a Pre/Post measure, with the Post measure occurring about 90 days after the EAP intake. A paired t-test was used to compare the pre-and post means on four of the scales, and a Wilcoxon test was used for Absenteeism due to skewing. All scales show positive change from the Pre- to Post-test, with two scales meeting the .05 level and two showing high significance at the level of 0.000. Even though EAP affiliate network models rarely provide “protocol” driven intervention and may not specifically focus on workplace issues, they still seem to produce workplace-related improvements. Future research should focus on increasing the sample size and examining other types of EAP models.
    • Exploring the Impact of Promotion on the Use of EAP Counseling: A Retrospective Analysis of Postcards and Worksite Events for 82 Employers at KGA

      Shepps, Hallie; Greer, Kathleen (Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA), 2018-06)
      This study retrospectively examined data from KGA, Inc. - an EAP vendor located in the United States - to explore the impact of different kinds of promotional activities on increasing or decreasing the use of EAP services. We started by conducting interviews about the EAP promotional practices with human resource and wellness contacts for the EAP at five client companies with strong EAP activity. Themes from these interviews focused on the many challenges to promotion and potential tactics that could be effective. Next, we reviewed the utilization records over a two-year period for 82 employers with almost 150,000 total covered employees. Analysis of 5,985 EAP cases found that “promotional materials” were the number one source of referral into the EAP, with 1 in 3 cases citing it. Thus, promotions were frequently mentioned as a key part of use of the EAP. The next part of the study involved comparing various kinds of promotional activities (mailed postcards and five kinds of events provided at the worksite) on the usage rates for new EAP counseling cases in the two-weeks after the promotion versus the two-weeks before. Using this restricted outcome period, the impact of promotional events was extremely small – at less than one percent increase in adding new cases immediately after the promotion. However, when controlling for the differences in the level of exposure to different kinds of worksite events, presentation to employees on the Orientation to EAP were over 10 times more effective than other kinds of worksite events. Limitations of the study design and data collection context are discussed along with ideas for further research. General recommendation for effective promotional practices of EAP are also presented.
    • How to Calculate the ROI for EAP Counseling from Improvements in Work Outcomes: Part 2 of Series with Global Data from the Workplace Outcome Suite© by Morneau Shepell

      Attridge, Mark; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Veder, Barb; Steenstra, Ivan (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2020)
      This is the second in a three-part series based on the larger Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) Annual Report for 2018.1 This popular self- report measurement tool was developed by Chestnut Global Partners in 2010 and is now owned by Morneau Shepell. It is a scientifically validated tool that is offered free to the employee assistance field. This paper presents a revised version of the chapter on the return on investment (ROI) from the 2018 WOS Annual Report. The aim is to provide a detailed example of how to calculate the business value for employee assistance programs (EAPs) based on employee users of counseling services. In this example, 24,363 cases with self-reported work absenteeism hours and work presenteeism ratings were used to estimate the ROI for EAPs. The combination of missed hours from work and lost productivity hours while at work were combined in a single metric of lost productive time (LPT). The improvement in productivity was compared to a no change estimate hypothetical condition which assumes that the same baseline level of deficit in LPT continued over a 3-month period of distress if untreated. This effect was adjusted down to remove the improvement likely to have been caused by naturally occurring influences other than use of EAP counseling (estimated at 23%). Changes in the outcomes revealed that almost five days of productive work time (39 hours) over the 3-month period were restored per case after the use of EAP counseling; worth an estimated $1,731 USD per EAP case. Most of the savings came from reduced work presenteeism rather than work absenteeism (79% vs. 21%, respectively). This outcome was then used in a model with industry averages for the level of annual utilization of EAP counseling (4.9% of all covered employees) and the total cost of the EAP program ($13 per employee per year). The result was an estimated ROI for EAP counseling of $5.19:$1.00.
    • Lessons learned from EAPs using the Workplace Outcome Suite for counseling: Part 3 of Series with global data from the Workplace Outcome Suite© by Morneau Shepell

      Attridge, Mark; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Veder, Barb; Steenstra, Ivan (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2020-06)
      This is the final paper in a three-part series based on the Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) Annual Report for 2018.1 The WOS is a scientifically validated tool that is offered free to the employee assistance field. This paper profiles 11 employee assistance programs (EAPs) that collected WOS data for counseling cases and two EAPs that collected WOS data for special projects. This sample of EAPs was engaged to represent programs from both the U.S. and other countries. The EAPs ranged in size and delivery model (i.e., external vendor, internal staff, or hybrid of some staff combined with a vendor). The study used a survey to address a variety of questions related to data collection methods, reporting practices, and customer reactions to the results. Best practice recommendations for data collection using the WOS-5 are also identified.
    • Onsite Screening and Enhanced EAP Counseling Improves Overall Health, Depression and Work Outcomes: Four-Wave Longitudinal Pilot Study at Community Health Center in Vermont

      Attridge, Mark; Dickens, Steven P. (2021-09-26)
      Over a 2-year period, patients of a rural community health center in Vermont were screened onsite for multiple behavioral health risk factors and if found at-risk, were offered no-cost counseling onsite at the health center. The treatment was delivered by two licensed employee assistance program (EAP) counselors highly proficient in an evidence-based Motivational Interviewing approach. Longitudinal data at four time points were examined: baseline; end of treatment (3 months); at three- and six-months post treatment. Tests of paired data of baseline versus each later time point found significant improvement for global health (PROMIS-10) in the total sample (N = 120); depression symptoms (PHQ-9) among subsample with depression as clinical issue (n = 68); and work presenteeism and estimated hours of lost work time among employed subsample (n = 46). Improvement in global health was significantly associated with improvement (reductions) in hours of lost work productivity at all later times (r = .33, .35, .50). Improvement in global health was moderated by level of household income (more improvement among cases at lower income levels), but not by clinical or demographic factors. Practical implications for behavioral health screening and intervention (BSI) in medical settings and onsite EAP counseling programs are discussed.
    • Risk Management Approach to Analyzing Outcomes from EAP Counseling: Part 1 of Series with Global Data from the Workplace Outcome Suite© by Morneau Shepell

      Attridge, Mark; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Veder, Barb; Steenstra, Ivan (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2020-01)
      This is the first paper in a three-part series based on the Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) Annual Report for 2018.1 This self-report measurement tool was developed by Chestnut Global Partners in 2010 and is now owned by Morneau Shepell. It is a scientifically validated tool offered free to the employee assistance field. In this paper, we advance a risk management approach to understanding how employee assistance program (EAP) services can be used to greater advantage by employers. This approach uses an alternative procedure for coding the WOS data and for analyzing the results for change over time. This method asks, for each WOS outcome area, how many employees (as a percentage of all EAP cases) are at a problem level on the outcome when first seeking counseling and also at the follow-up? The difference in these two percentages indicates how many cases had improved after counseling to no longer have a “problem” with missing work, or with work engagement, and so on. Self-report data was collected at the start of counseling and at 60-90 days after counseling ended. The sample was 24,363 cases worldwide from multiple EAPs with data collected between years 2010 to 2018. Results found that after deducting the small percentage of cases who changed from no problem at the start to having a problem after use, the net change in rates among EAP users of having a problem in each outcome was significantly reduced: work presenteeism with 56% of cases with problem at before vs. 28% after; life satisfaction with 38% of cases with problem at before to 21% after; work absenteeism with 34% of cases with problem at before vs. 20% after; work engagement with 31% of cases with problem at before vs. 10% after; and workplace distress with 22% of cases with problem at before vs. 9% after. When adding up problem status (yes or no) within person for all five WOS measures (range from 0 to 5 at each time point), the average number of outcome areas with a problem was significantly reduced from 1.81 per case at before to 0.94 at after use. These findings demonstrate that brief counseling was effective at reducing work-related problems of users, even when most employees (82%) had used the EAP for issues other than work. This study shows how a behavioral health risk management approach can be successfully applied to interpreting and reporting on work-related outcomes from EAP counseling.