• Onsite Versus Offsite EAPs: A Comparison of Workplace Outcomes

      Sharar, David A., 1961-; Pompe, John C.; Attridge, Mark (Employee Assistance Professional Association, 2013)
      While the types of services offered through the employee assistance program (EAP) may vary, they are typically delivered through one of the three basic staffing models.The internal model (i.e. onsite) is defined by EAP staff that is employees of the organization sponsoring the EAP benefit. The external model (i.e. offsite) refers to when the sponsoring company or organization has entered into a contract for EAP services with an outside vendor to deliver these services via a network of affiliate counselors, crisis support specialists, and so on. The blended or hybrid model shares elements of both models and usually has EAP staff that is “onsite” at the employer’s worksite (or at multiple locations within the organization). It also has external or “offsite” contract personnel involved in EAP services in many locations. Although the merits of these models have been discussed and debated there is little evidence to suggest that one model produces superior workplace outcomes. One of the reasons is that regardless of where the EAP counselor works, the context of clinical contact remains the same: a face-to-face meeting(s) conducted between an EAP counselor and an employee client. This article will review the advantages and disadvantages of the internal and external models. We will then present new data from a customer organization that directly compares the workplace outcomes of in-person counseling delivered onsite versus clinical offices located offsite. The onsite EAP services were co-located within a corporate medical department at several large manufacturing facilities, while offsite services were delivered in private offices through a contractual network of community-based EAP affiliates.