• 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.