Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How to Get a Whopper of High EAP Utilization By Promoting Your Professional Staff

Chances are your EAP staff are a unique bunch of folks, but employees within your organization simply don’t know much about them. Of course, they may have heard a brief bio at an EAP orientation but, this alone is not enough to have a favorable impact on your EAP utilization.

Promote your staff using internal communication like your EAP newsletter or other in-house publications. If an organization that you are serving as an EAP provider has its unique internal newsletter, say at a large bank or other business, go to the public relations department and suggest that they run a series of articles that highlight your EAP staff, their background, and skills. A picture along with the bio is a plus.

Specialities such addiction intervention, mental health treatment, adolescent expertise, family counseling, or eldercare resource knowledge will draw employees who identify with those problems. “Identify” is the key word. Simply telling employees that EAPs deal with personal problems is not as effective as actually talking about the specialties of EA staff directly. You want your potential client to get closer to the EAP, and you do this by creating imagery of expertise that the client will feel attraction to using. This makes it all real. Employees don’t want to see themselves as having “personal problems.” They will however, be attracted to solutions.

They much rather stay in denial about the label, and pursue help for their pain. Don’t profile all your staff at once. This is too overwhelming, and a tactical mistake. Instead, dedicate a whole column to one staff member. Really get in there and supply some detail. Then watch how the phone rings. Two years later, do the same thing, but come at it from a different angle. This time discuss past positions prior to the EAP, hobbies, or unique interests. Make your staff real, and you will get a real return.