An employee assistance program (EAP) is a corporate program specially created to recognize and help solve, mostly, personal issues of the employees that negatively impact or might impact their quality of work performance. In the recent years, many companies worldwide hire employee assistance program specialists. The goal of this program is not to only improve the employee’s performance but also to find solutions for their personal problems.

The assistance program usually provides a 24-hour support to the affected employees by phone, texting or face-to-face. The family members of the employees are encouraged to share critical information about the employee with the EAP specialists with the aim of helping him/her to deal better and faster with whatever concern they have.

A very important part of the process is creating trust so that the employee and/or their family members confide in the EAP specialists. For this to be achieved, confidentiality plays a key role – therefore, it is extremely important for the EAP specialist to keep highly sensitive information they receive confidential.

Most common issues dealt with by EAP

Examples of most common issues EAP can help with include: financial, family, relationship problems, personal issues, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling addiction and anything else that can affect the employees’ productivity at work. However, the research shows that the most common stressor is a relationship problem – regardless of whether it is a family relationship, marital or a working relationship with a peer/superior.

A symptom indicating that an employee might be dealing with one of these issues is the employee experiencing panic attacks while they are at work. This kind of psychological health issue is very common in today’s modern world and significantly decreases the productivity while it also jeopardizes the career progress of the employee.

The physical symptoms of panic attacks are difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, etc. The reasons for panic attacks are various, but working under pressure is one of the main ones. If not managed, panic attacks can cause deeper health issues and be the reason for many stress-related illnesses.

The role of EAP specialists

The role of employee assistance program specialist is to help the affected employees with their stress management and advise them on how to stay in a well work-productive shape. They are obligated to, not only detect the employee’s issue but to also make the necessary appointments with experts (such as counselors and psychologists) for the employee to attend.

The employee assistance program professionals might not be directly involved in the financial growth of the company, but they will, most certainly, boost the company’s productivity.