Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Increasing EAP Utilization Hack #13: Ask for Referrals

increasing eap utilization and promtion Asking EAP clients to refer a friend is one of the most powerful approaches to increasing your EAP's utilization. Do you practice this promotional strategy?

Nothing is more convincing and influential than word of mouth referrals because they are tantamount to a walking live testimonials. Referrals from friends are trusted. If a good friend of yours says a restaurant is fantastic, it will motivate you more than a $5K full page display ad in the local newspaper. Clearly, this is a cost-beneficial EAP utilization improvement hack for you to consider.

The time to ask
for a referral is at the moment of positive excitement when your EAP client says, "Wow, thank you so much for helping me." This is your cue to speak up and ask the EAP client to refer a coworker if the opportunity arises. It's that simple. You aren't asking every client to refer, but take advantage of those who would be obviously willing.

When you have an employee-client spread the word about the EAP, a lot is happening at that moment, and all of it is quite synergistic.

The employee client is promoting your program effectiveness, improving its reputation, decreasing resistance of would-be clients, helping others overcome the fear of asking for help, and intervening with your most ferocious and negative force, concern among the workforce that the EAP is not confidential.

All EA professionals believe their program is confidential, but not all employees do. The reason is simple. Confidentiality is so important that the fear associated with it creates its own anxiety and "disturbance in the force." Let's call it "EAP confidentiality perception attrition."

This anxiety gets passed along to the workforce where it is propagated. This is also what makes EAP supervisor training so important. You must tell supervisors in EAP orientations to not repeat, disclose, or otherwise imply knowledge of an employee's EAP attendance or even suggest an employee has attended the EAP. This is also a legal issue, but you want to impress upon supervisors the impact on the program's integrity and how this can negatively impact the perception of confidentiality among employees. If you want to make a bigger impression, say that the most at-risk worker--the one that might go postal--just might not attend the EAP because of something the supervisor said. (You can embellish from there.)

Fighting the natural attrition of perception of confidentiality requires promoting confidentiality, and employees who refer friends or coworkers to the EAP are naturally assisting in this effort.

I routinely make mention that the EAP is confidential in Frontline Employee EAP Newsletter to help you boost your utilization. But since articles are editable, you should insert this where, and as needed. It's vital. You want lots of touches during the year on this key point.

Do you have
an EAP utilization improvement hack that you would like me to pass along or expound upon? Pass it along here at

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Each year, on October 10th, World Mental Health Day is celebrated, which is a proclamation initiated
by the World Health Organzation. This year is a bit special: The theme is "The Workplace" (Did you know?)

Work is sometimes--often--a 24/7 experience for many employees in the Western hemisphere (and beyond.) Suffice it to say, that work is on our minds a lot!

Our mental health is directly affected by work, and our mental health affects the workplace, productivity, and the bottom line. It's a two-way street, and enhancing mental health wellness is crucial to human welfare.

Depression and anxeity affect well over 500 million people worldwide. And the cost to productivity is a cool $1 trillion dollars.
Celebrate today by bringing attention to the importance of any work organization's employee assistance program, and remind employees and managers that the EAP stands ready to assist them.

You will find more information about World Mental Health day at these links, and consider any of the tip sheets from to help you celebrate it -- they are always reproducible, editable, brandable, and web-usable.

Tip Sheets for Workplace Wellness
Catalog of Products

2-Page Catalog
EAP Newsletters
Training/Awareness for Employees

Training/Awareness for Managers
EAP Tools and EAP Resources

Daniel Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP
Email me:
Publisher 1-800-626-4327

Office Romances and Productivity: Information for Employees and EA Professionals

​Busier lifestyles have made finding romance more difficult today than in recent memory.
With communication technology often reducing human interaction to abbreviated text messages and shorthand emails, many find the office

Romance in the workplace, think twice before the plunge

to be a rare exception where they are still able to engage in meaningful, face-to-face interaction with others. Romance at work can be a natural consequence. And it can feel quite compelling.

Many companies suffer productivity losses from workplace romance issues, which is why policies against workplace romance sometimes exist. They are not illegal.

The following are the top concerns from a poll of HR practitioners according to research from the IRS Employment Review: