• Canadian Employee Assistance Programming: An Overview

      Csiernik, Rick; Csiernik, Alex (Taylor and Francis, 2012-05-08)
      A study of 142 Employee Assistance Programs from across Canada found a vibrant range of programming. The focus of programming remained upon the individual provided by professionals but there were a significant minority of EAPs that had branched out and were offering services to enhance organizational wellness. All programs offered voluntary assistance with one third having a formal referral route and one third including mandated counseling for performance issues. The majority of organizations were using third party counseling services external to the workplace though one third of the programs still employed internal counselors while a minority still had active peer components. The study clearly indicated the lack of utility for capping counseling services and found that the average use of uncapped services was less than the artificial ceilings the majority of organizations had placed upon the counseling that was allowed to be provided to employees. There was a lack of uniformity in terms of how utilization rates were calculated underscored by the finding that there were over 20 different definitions in use for what a case was. This is a clear example of the need for the EAP field to come together to develop agreement upon key empirical fundamentals for the profession. The study also discovered a drift away from essential program underpinnings including fewer joint labor-management committees to administer programs, less development of formal EAP policies to govern programs and fewer organizations engaging in new employee orientation and ongoing promotion and staff training.