Monday, March 14, 2011

Small Business EAPs: Last Frontier for Employee Assistance?

One of the anomalies characterizing employee assistance services to small business is that, in comparison with large businesses, the small ones may well use those services less frequently. However, the services may nonetheless be immensely more crucial to small business survival. Within this truism is a decades old marketing dilemma for EAPs. Marketing EAPs to small business is not an easy task.

How do you convince a small business of say 40 employees to pay a reasonable fee for a proactive, high-touch EAP when the EAPs success will be likely be unable to demonstrate that disaster X or crisis Y never occurred? It is easier to intuitively convince a company with 5,000 employees that the EAP probably had an impact on X and Y, especially if records of the past can be compared with those going forward. This eap cost-benefit proof is a tougher challenge.

The answer to this problem must lie in a presentation that includes cost-benefits, reduction in financial risks, and removal of stress experienced by the business owner/decision maker all of which are included in a presentation tailored to small businesses. I will begin discussing these factors in this blog and also discuss other "influencers" in the decision-making process toward the goal of motivating the decision maker to invest in effective employee assistance services.