Saturday, September 8, 2012

Neil Armstrong vs. EAPs

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969. That is just about the same time that EAPs and the human "behavioral risk prevention/intervention dynamic" they naturally possess was also discovered. If you are an employee assistance professional, your first task is not to help employees. It is to help your organization understand how employee assistance programs reduce behavioral risk and help to prevent devastating losses from human behavioral factors in the workplace. No workplace program, profession, or mechanism other than a legitimately installed and functional EAP can perform this task as well. Unlike the celebration of man's landing on the moon, the EAP discovery has not been as well celebrated. A recent survey of Americans showed that 5% of people still believe that the landing on the moon was staged. (Gallup Poll, 2012) Unfortunately, the percentage is much higher if we are discussing EAPs and how many people really believe they are special programs with inherently unique life-saving dynamics that will reduce losses and save lives when properly established. Your mission is to help workplace professionals, especially CFOs, HR managers, and benefits consultants understand this reality. If you do not, you will play a role in diminishing and forcing the profession into extinction. Don't be fooled. No cost-benefit analysis or EAP program evaluation will overcome an organization's desire to financially save money by cutting your program if this belief does not exist.It takes an effective relationship between you and management and between you and employees to pulls this off. That includes communication. You must establish communication channels between you and these two sections of the workforce that are omnipresent in order to accomplish this goal. Never be a "waiting in the wings" EAP. Be proactive and omnipresent.