• Data Game Changer: Current Utilization Figures Inaccurate

      Masi, Dale A.; Frey, Jodi J; Harting, James; Spearing, Michelle (EAPA, 2022-01)
      In late 2020, Dr. Dale Masi wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Journal of Employee Assistance titled “EAP Utilization: EAP Field Doesn’t Do Itself Justice.” In the letter, Dr. Masi brought attention to the EAP field citing a 5% employee utilization in one given year as the goal of EAPs. For example, 50 employees using an EAP in a company with a total of 1,000 employees would have 5% utilization. Using this method resulted in a great deal of criticism, as seen in two recent articles – the first published in the Wall Street Journal article (Feintzeig, 2020) while the second was an article in the Society for Human Resource Management (Agovino, 2019). Dr. Masi went on to explain how EAPs responded by using various methods to raise the utilization count using their services. These included counting the employees’ family members, employees who used Work/Life services, and even individuals who didn’t show up for counseling. These figures were added into the numerator of employees using programs without changing the denominator of the number of employees. EAPs calculated these as part of their annual utilization count.
    • 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.
    • Utilizing Utilization Rates in Canadian EAPs: The Folly of Comparing Cumquats to Tangerines

      Csiernik, Rick (Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA), 2017-03)
      Utilization rate is one of the fundamental calculations of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). It is used in assessing program impact, program promotion, internal staffing and in determining vendor rates. Two national studies, (2001, N =154; 2011, N = 142) conducted a decade apart examined the nature and structure of how a case was defined and how utilization rates were actually determined by Canadian work organizations with EAPs. What was discovered was a broad range of calculations and conceptualizations that did not become any more precise between the two study periods nor consistently follow any recommended standards such as those developed by the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA). This result continues to bring into question the utility of using this metric as an evaluative tool or in any type of comparison such as internal versus external program success or EAP vendor performance within the Canadian context.