executive summary

Employee assistance programs, also known as EAPs, are employer-sponsored employee benefits that offer confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems. EAPs address a wide array of concerns affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as depression, stress, anxiety, grief, family problems, relationship issues, and alcohol or other substance abuse concerns.

To employers, the value proposition of an EAP is based on the understanding that employees with the aforementioned concerns often have troubles in their professional and personal lives that ultimately impact a company's bottom line. Historically, EAP providers have used a variety of metrics to illustrate their ability to resolve or mitigate these concerns, such as employee utilization rates, referrals to external resources, satisfaction surveys or website visits. While these measurements are effective and valuable tools that help employers evaluate the reach of the program, they don't truly measure the impact of the EAP on employee health, well-being and productivity.


In an effort to quantify the true impact of an EAP, CuraLinc developed a proprietary assessment and follow-up process that utilizes a combination of four evidence-based instruments to measure baselines and outcomes from EAP participants. CuraLinc measured the health and productivity of 5,761 benefit-eligible employees who used the EAP between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, then followed up with participants 30 days after the case was closed to measure changes in their health and productivity, evaluate their satisfaction with the program and profile for variations in health status or referrals to other resources.

summary of results


  • Over 70% of employees reported improved productivity after using the EAP.

  • 69% of participants with low or moderate productivity migrated to high productivity after using the EAP.


  • Almost 80% of EAP participants with depression reported a measurable improvement after using the program.

  • Over three out of every four employees with moderate to severe depression migrated to minimal or mild depression after EAP treatment.


  • The average time missed from work due to the employee’s presenting concern dropped from 12.4 hours to 3.7 hours after using the EAP.

  • From among employees who missed at least 40 hours of work prior to using the EAP, only a quarter of them missed any time at all after using the program.

Alcohol Use

  • The percentage of employees at higher alcohol risk levels dropped from 30% to 3% after EAP participation.

  • 54% of participants who consumed alcohol regularly improved by one or more risk levels after using the EAP.

  • After using the EAP, 89% of employees who used or abused alcohol were considered low risk.

Other Findings

  • Employers in the technology and manufacturing/distribution industries reported the highest EAP-driven improvement in absenteeism rates and productivity.

  • The EAP impacted productivity and absenteeism for Baby Boomers (born 1950-1964) at a higher rate than any other generation.

  • Employees who used the EAP under a formal management referral were more likely to report productivity and absenteeism improvement.

  • The EAP had a much greater impact on absenteeism for male employees (12.7 hours reduced), compared to female employees (5.3 hours).

  • Employees who presented with job stress or substance abuse reported the highest productivity and absenteeism gains after using the program.