Everything You Need to Know About Managing Your Employee Assistance Programs

Your business can’t operate like the well-oiled machine that it is without your workers. You’ve got to take care of them if you want them to produce the results that your company needs to thrive.

That’s why many companies have employee assistance programs in place. These programs will help your employees manage their stress. It goes without saying that people are more productive when they’re less bogged down by outside pressures.

Getting a program going will also result in fewer employee absences, and will prevent workplace incidents from blowing up and getting worse. 

Are you interested in setting up your own assistance program? Check out this guide to learn how to manage one. 

What Are Employee Assistance Programs?

So, what is an employee assistance program? It’s a resource that provides support to staff members and helps them manage their stressors. Most of the time, the assistance comes in the form of a counseling session. 

This program should be free and completely confidential. Employees won’t use the resource if they’re afraid that what they say during the session will get back to those involved in their complaints. 

This resource doesn’t have to end with work-related stressors. Employees should feel comfortable discussing other matters such as financial issues, relationship woes, and struggles with drugs and alcohol. 

Get a Committee Together 

The first step of getting your federal employee assistance program going is to get a committee together. The people who are part of this committee depend on how large your company is. 

If you have a small business going, you can get by with a tiny committee of a few members of your staff and HR (if you’re big enough to have an HR department). If your company is on the larger side, you’ll need a hefty committee that consists of HR and at least one or two people from each of your departments. 

Choose a Delivery Model

The committee from the step above will analyze your business to help you decide on the right state employee assistance program for your business. There are quite a few for you to choose from. 


Those who have a large company can benefit from having an in-house EAP. A specialist can either work onsite or remotely to provide your employees with 24-hour access to someone who can help them. 

Most of the time, going with the in-house option comes with a fixed fee that you pay each month for the services. 


The fixed-fee option is best for business owners who have a smaller company. You’ll pay a set fee for a certain range of services. The more you want to provide for your employees, the more you’ll have to pay. 

The amount of services isn’t the only factor that plays into the cost of this option. It’s also determined by the number of workers you have. That’s why this model is so great for tinier companies that don’t have as many staff members. 


Contract-only services are also an affordable option for small business owners and start-ups. This assistance program model involves only hiring an EAP professional when your company needs it. 

Union Sponsored

This program option is only for those who have employees who are part of a union. Some assistance can be provided through your business affiliations. 

Hybrid Models

Are none of these models right for you? You can go with a hybrid option instead. With this type of program, you can mix and match the in-house model with the fixed-fee one. 

You can even combine the union-based option with one of the others on the list. It’s all up to you and your company’s needs. 

Create a Policy 

Now that you know what type of business model you want to use, it’s time to create a policy. The thing to keep in mind here is that you’re going to have to convince your stockholders and business partners why you need an EAP. 

These executives want to see dollar signs. You’ll need to make a compelling argument showing how your company will save money and benefit from having a policy in place. 

Hire Contractors 

After a few weeks, you should know if your policy is approved or not. If it’s not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. If it is, you’ll need to get a jump on hiring your contractors. 

Go ahead and draw up a contract agreement before you begin your search. This way, when you find a provider, you can hurry through the hiring process and get the benefits going for your employees. 

Tell Your Team About the EAP

The last step of employee assistance management is telling your team about it. After all, they can’t use the services if they don’t know that they exist. There are a few ways that you can go about this. 

You can send out an email detailing how employees can take advantage of their new EAP benefits. If you’re a smaller company, you can issue a business-wide Zoom call. During this call, you’ll provide all the documentation that your employees will need to use the services. 

Take Care of Your Workers With Employee Assistance Programs 

Your business can’t carry on without workers. You should take care of them with employee assistance programs. These resources are there to help employees through stressful times so they can provide better results for the company. 

Having a program won’t only make your workers happier. It will also boost their productivity and prevent them from calling out as often. What’s not to love? 

For more ways to keep your employees happy and healthy, visit the Business section of our blog. 

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