Employee assistance programs have a dual purpose. They help companies address productivity issues in the workforce and also assist employees in identifying and resolving personal concerns, according to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association. The concerns than can affect work performance include health, marital, family, substance-abuse, emotional or stress issues, and programs today can also include assistance in financial and legal areas. According to the Society for Human Resource Management's 2007 benefits survey, 73 percent of organizations have an EAP. Eighty-eight percent of large companies (more than 500 employees) provide EAP services. Among the hallmarks of an EAP, according to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, are the "consultation with, training of and assistance to work organization leadership (managers, supervisors and union stewards) seeking to manage the troubled employee, enhance the work environment and improve employee job performance, and outreach to and education of employees and their family members about availability of EAP services"; confidential and timely problem identification and assessment services for employee clients who are having personal concerns that could affect job performance; use of constructive confrontation, motivation and short-term intervention with employee clients to address the issues; referral of employee clients for diagnosis, treatment and assistance, along with case monitoring and follow-up services; and consultation with work organizations to encourage availability of, and employee access to, health benefits covering medical and behavioral problems, including but not limited to alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental and emotional disorders. The association has abuyer's guide andstandards and guidelines for EAPs.
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