• 2022 Trends

      Boston College Center for Work & Family (2022-01)
      As we enter 2022, we will continue to see a redefinition of how work gets done and a growing emphasis on delivering a superior employee experience. HR will continue to have a significant influence on helping to chart, champion, and manage important change efforts, as the war for talent intensifies and employees rethink their relationship to work.
    • 7 best practices for implementing a successful mental well-being strategy

      Greer, Kathleen; Quick, John (Arizent, 2022-01-18)
      As the demand for employee mental health services grows, so, too, does the crowd of corresponding platforms, services and vendors. Unfortunately, HR is tasked with sorting through the jumble to unearth what’s best for their specific organization. That’s just step one. Beyond vetting mental health offerings, HR must also integrate the final choices with one another and with existing benefits, not to mention implement and promote each and all. This process can quickly become a mystery or a complex challenge. Having a mental well-being strategy helps. A proactive mental well-being strategy helps to position an organization as one that values mental health. A solid strategy will also spell out a detailed plan for deploying multiple mental or behavioral health solutions across a workforce, based on resources that have been — or will be — purchased by the organization. Partnering with a top-tier EAP throughout the process can be highly beneficial, as EAPs have extensive experience operating as well-being hubs.
    • Best Practices in Employee and Organizational Risk Management: Opportunities for EAP

      Attridge, Mark (2018-10-10)
      This four hour workshop examines the global research literature to identify the evidence-based best practices that employee assistance providers can use to better manage the behavioral health risks of employees in the organizations they serve. As EAPs try to show higher business value to their purchasers, adopting a risk-management and prevention oriented approach can distinguish it from standard providers. Companies that want to be an "employer of choice" and establish a healthy work culture can re-position the EAP as part of these larger organizational well-being initiatives through the kinds of services profiled in this workshop.
    • The Cannabis Conundrum: What are Workers' Rights?

      Greer, Kathleen (Arizent, 2019-08-09)
      The legalization of cannabis across the country presents uncharted territory for many companies. HR departments are tasked with meeting the challenges associated with new laws related to random drug and pre-employment testing, as well as a host of cultural issues. Organizations are also collaborating with EAP providers on what seems to be a moving target. Meanwhile, EAPs themselves struggle to balance the healing potential of medicinal cannabis with its addictive properties and unclear side effects. This article tackles challenging issues that arise in the workplace.
    • Conversation with Nancy Costikyan, Director of Work/Life at Harvard University

      Costikyan, Nancy (Boston College Center for Work and Family, 2021-08)
      Boston College's Center for Work and Family has a Member Spotlight Newsletter that it sends out on a regular basis. This newsletter highlights the work of Nancy Costikyan, Director of the Work/Life Program at Harvard University. In the newsletter Nancy discusses the current priorities in the workplace and states: "My office serves 19,000 staff and faculty (as well as some student groups) and we have four main buckets, which I am beginning to think of as fountains that all spring from well-being: (1) Mental Health; (2) Flex-work, (3) Dependent Care and (4) Mindfulness. Obviously, flexwork has consumed much of our time as we forge our way to a widespread, hybrid work model, but the ongoing crises concerning child care and mental health are keeping me up at night." And the conversation goes on to include the programs new Flexible Work Arrangement Policy and how flexwork may look different on the Harvard campus. The role of manager is addressed as well as how they plan to evaluate the program in the upcoming months. Finally Nancy is asked about the Key Learnings that have emerged with these programs.
    • EAPs Have Never Been So Important to Employees

      Greer, Kathleen; Quick, John (Arizent, 2021-02-17)
      Since COVID hit, EAPs have been under pressure to bring proven methods of treatment to the forefront. Over the past 10 years, there have been rigorous studies that have shown that top-tier EAPs can help to reduce presenteeism and provide positive clinical outcomes for employees and their family members. Quality and scope of EAPs vary so it is important to work with full service EAPs that will help to integrate other employee benefits into a seamless help center.
    • Employee Assistance Programs

      Attridge, Mark (2014)
      Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employer-sponsored services designed for assisting employees with personal, family or work problems. Most workplaces today have an EAP, as over 80% of medium and large size employers in the United States provide EAP benefits to their workforce. EAPs play an important role in helping troubled employees to balance the demands of work and personal life, while also supporting the employer’s goals for improved or sustained levels of workplace productivity. Common areas of need include stress, mental health disorders, substance abuse, other behavioral addictions, parenting issues, emotional problems, problems at work, and personal financial and legal concerns. EAPs they also support individual managers and the organization as a whole. This later kind of support includes efforts at prevention, training, management consultation, organizational development and crisis preparedness and response services. To accomplish these goals, EAPs often partner with other employee benefit programs including work/life, occupational health and wellness and disability claim management.
    • Helping Employees Cope with the Death of a Co-Worker

      Hirsch, Arlene S., 1951-  (SHRM, 2022-06-23)
      Helping employees cope with the death of a colleague or co-worker is not typically covered in leadership training or employee handbooks. However, the pandemic and other public health crises have prompted many organizations to create policies that address the needs of grieving employees while still achieving business outcomes.
    • How Employee Assistance Programs Can Help Your Whole Company Address Racism at Work

      Frey, Jodi J (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020-10-14)
      It may surprise some employers to know that when employees experience racism and/or other forms of discrimination and oppression, one of the places they can turn for help is their Employee Assistance Program or EAP. While EAPs are thought of more often for use by employees for short-term counseling and referrals to help employees manage personal problems so that they don’t interfere with work performance and productivity, it is important to remember that EAPs also provide workplaces with services including organizational assessment, management consultation and strategic crisis prevention and response. It is precisely because of this mix of individual and organizational level of services that EAPs are in a unique position to help employees work through the trauma of racism and to provide workplace leaders with an invaluable insider view of complex workplace problems, including racism.
    • Integrating Employee Assistance Programs Into Other Workplace Programs: The Organizational Health Map

      Attridge, Mark (2016-11-02)
      Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can expand their business value by creating connections with other employee health and benefit programs within the same work organization. The Organizational Health Map identifies potential partners within each of the three segments of the health care cost continuum model (Preventive Care; Acute Care; and Chronic Care). The EAP can offer resources, referrals, and behavioral health expertise to help make these programs more effective. Collaborating with Human Resources is needed to facilitate integrating the EAP into other programs. Finally, the EAP can consult with leaders of the organization to advance company-wide health and work culture initiatives.
    • Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention in the Workplace: Policy and Response Recommendations to Help Employers Positively Impact Workers and the Work Environment: A White Paper for HR Professionals and Employment Lawyers

      Workplace Suicide Prevention and Postvention Committee; Dever, Laurie; Gabor, David; Walker, Michelle; Frey, Jodi J; McClatchey, Mary; Morrissey, John W.; Quiray, LeiLani; Spencer-Thomas, Sally; Thakkar, Sejal; et al. (United Suicide Survivors International, 2022-09-01)
      A White Paper for HR Professionals and Employment Lawyers: Executive Summary: In the United States, roughly 50,000 people die by suicide each year, most of whom are of working age. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one in five adult Americans lives with a mental health condition every year. While rates for diagnosed mental health conditions vary by demographic, conditions like anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders are quite common. Yet few workers will get the support they need to establish healthy levels of well-being. In fact, a systematic review on suicide help-seeking reported that only 40% of adults aged 18 and older sought help for their suicide thoughts or behavior. Psychologically unsafe workplaces that are not friendly to mental health contribute to the gap between the need for support and help-seeking behavior. The failure of workplaces to address psychological safety negatively impacts employees and often leads to challenges with employee engagement, absenteeism, presenteeism, morale, and safety and error concerns. Of course, the worst outcomes of unaddressed workplace mental health challenges are deaths by suicide, overdoses, and the consequences of addiction. All of these challenges lead to significant ramifications for the employer and coworkers, including turnover and increased costs. Conversely, proactive investment in mental health promotion and suicide prevention offers the employer a strong ROI (Return on Investment). Contrary to popular expectation, more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. Beyond depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, environmental contributors can also drive suicidal despair. These factors include workplace bullying and discrimination, relationships, physical health issues, and financial, legal, or housing stress. For employers, this means a broad approach to the mobilization of resources is appropriate—more than just a referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The focus of this white paper is to help employers recognize and navigate the complex issues of how best to support employees living with mental health conditions and suicidal intensity and to understand the policy and legal precedent surrounding best practices for prevention, intervention, crisis response, and postvention.11 It is written by practitioners and researchers who represent subject matter expertise from three different perspectives: legal, human resources, and mental health. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of mental health and suicide concerns in their workforce, yet most have not been prepared on how to respond. Managers and HR professionals are vital gatekeepers for recognizing individuals who are at risk of suicide and aiding those who need help. Many workplaces and professional associations look to human resources and employment lawyers for guidance on prevention, intervention, crisis response; and postvention, yet these professionals are often working under misguided assumptions and outdated information. The truth is that proactive investment in mental health promotion and suicide prevention is not only the right thing to do, but also the strategy that will result in a positive ROI for the organization and will help mitigate risk for the company. For important information on the Department of Labor’s Guidelines for Mental Health Conditions and FMLA, see Appendix A or visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/28o-mental-health.
    • Orchestrating Return to Work: Turning Noise into Music

      Arvig, Tyler; Hayford, Kevin (Employee Assistance Professional Association, 2019)
    • The Paradigm Shift in Employer Sponsored Behavioral Health

      Herman, John B. (2022-03-01)
      This presentation identifies the players in the workplace mental health scene and focuses on the important task of vendor screening and evaluation.
    • Research Based Practices for Supporting Mental Health Disability

      Attridge, Mark; Wallace, Scott, Ph.D. (2011-10-12)
      This presentation offers evidence-based insights for understanding and managing return to work for employees on mental health disability leave. Two areas are addressed: Part 1. Understanding mental health disability, including facts on the prevalence and the impact of mental health problems in the workplace. A clinical profile of typical mental health disability cases and co-occurring addiction and physical health problems and Why a workplace-focused integrated care approach is more effective than standard approaches driven by medical providers and insurance claim managers. Part 2. Supporting mental health disability and making accommodations for return to work after treatment and preventing relapse.
    • Research Matters Column - The Role of EAPs in Managing Human Capital

      Attridge, Mark (Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2001-05)
      Article in series of the Research Matters column. Review of key terms and ideas for the managing human capital approach in human resources and benefits and how it aligns with the goals of employee assistance programs. Relevant research findings and employer case studies with EAP use are presented.
    • The Workplace Inclusion Scale - Another Tool for EAPs

      Herlihy, Patricia A.; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Robey, Molly (EAPA, 2022-01)
      Chestnut Health Systems, the parent company of CGP, recently created a new psychometrically informed instrument to help the EAP field integrate inclusion into its services: the Workplace Inclusion Scale (WIS). The WIS is a tool that organizations can use to quickly assess the impact of diversity and inclusion efforts as perceived by those employees working within one or more departments and regional offices of an organization. Specifically, it is a method for EAPs, as management consultants, to offer HR, ben- efit departments, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs a unique lens to assess the perceived level of employee inclusion.