executive summary

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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.

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 3,379 benefit-eligible employees who used the EAP between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, 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

Productivity

  • 80% of employees reported improved productivity after using the EAP.  
  • 73% of participants with low or moderate productivity migrated to high productivity after using the EAP.

Depression

  • 72% of EAP participants with depression showed ‘significant improvement’ (a positive migration of two risk levels) after using the program.
  • 89% of employees with moderate to severe depression migrated to minimal or mild depression after EAP treatment.

Absenteeism

  • The average time missed from work due to the employee’s presenting concern dropped from 13.89 hours to 3.92 hours after using the EAP.
  • From among employees who missed at least 40 hours of work prior to using the EAP, only 23% missed any time at all after using the program.

Alcohol Use

  • The percentage of employees at higher alcohol risk levels dropped from 36% to 7% after EAP participation.
  • 54% of participants who consume alcohol regularly improved by one or more risk levels after using the EAP.

Other Findings

  • EAP clients that offer EAP counseling models with five or more sessions realized significantly better outcomes than those with lower session models.  
  • The EAP had a greater impact on productivity and absenteeism from male employees, compared to females.
  • Absenteeism reduction and productivity improvement was lowest for participants in the winter months, compared to other seasons.
  • Younger employees report higher productivity, but older employees get more out of the EAP.  
  • Employees who participate in both their EAP and their wellness program are more productive.