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Employee Assistance Program

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Introduction

Employee Assistance Program At least one fifth of an organization's employees are suffering or will suffer from some degree of mental disorder.1 This fact is one that not many supervisors or managers believe or even know about. Management believes the idea that man is perfectible and has control of every aspect of his life including mental disorders. This belief is based on the idea that the only way to influence people to change their habits and attitudes is to show them through logic, the "error of their ways". If management is to minimize conflicts and costs related to mental illness, it must discard many of its false beliefs about human nature and except more realistic ones. Only in rare cases are the sufferers of mental illness aware that anything is wrong with them. It is an improbable idea that management can expect to confront the employee, explain the error of his ways, and ask him/her to "just snap out of it". Also, employee's attitudes and behaviors do change which is very difficult to control. Management must realize this and work within its employees' existing behaviors and attitudes instead of trying to change them. It is unrealistic to expect perfection in the employee. Each employee works under the typical anxieties and insecurities of employment in America with the potential of developing mental disorders. Therefore, regardless of the actions taken by management, employees will continue to suffer with problems and the potential for mental disorders throughout the various stages of their lives. ...read more.

Middle

The cost of these programs range between $18.00 and $48.00 per employee per year, depending on the size of the organization and the services requested. These prices and services are cost effective and beneficial to a company who struggles with the cost of workplace accidents, inadequate production, high turnover rate, absenteeism, and troubled employees."4 Deteriorating job performance is usually the basis for referring an employee to an EAP. It is the function of the EAP practitioners or counselors to determine what the underlying problem may be. If an employee has unsatisfactory job performance, a supervisor will recognize and document the problem. If the problem continues, the program coordinator and supervisor will conduct a "corrective interview" with the employee. If the condition does not improve, a second interview will be conducted and the EAP will provide assistance. At this point, the employee may accept or refuse program participation. If accepted, professional evaluation and a plan of action with a counselor will be developed. Satisfactory progress should lead to improvements in job performance and later acceptable job performance. Throughout this whole process of recovery, there are procedures that the supervisor must keep in mind. An employee must be advised of the criteria of the program: first, work performance is the primary concern of the company; second, problems will worsen without professional help; third, confidentiality is enforced when making the referral; and fourth, management will be objective, fair, consistent, and decisive. ...read more.

Conclusion

While drawbacks could arise if management is not informed of rules, regulations, and guidelines, EAPs are necessary for any organization to survive the anxieties and stresses of life. There are several reason and benefits to providing EAP for the employees and the happiness in the workplace. Psychologists have learned that satisfactory work experience is often the greatest force in happiness in the workplace. Ideally, no man who has shown his worth in productive work should be cast out when transitory emotional disorders throws him out of gear. We must repair our human resources as well as our machines. This approach will encourage each employee to seek help for those emotional conflicts that he can not solve alone and will provide industry and professional psychology with the knowledge needed to prevent irreparable emotional breakdown. Sources 1. Noland, R. 1977. Industrial Mental Health and Employee Counseling. New York, New York: Behavioral Publications. 2. Shain, M. 1980. Employee Assistance programs. Lexington, Mass.: LexingtonBooks, D.C. Health and Company. 3. Myers, D. 1984. Establishing and Building Employee Assistance Programs. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books. 4. (E-mail interview) Gordon, S. Executive Director of TEAM, Inc. 5. Scanlon, W. 1986. Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in the Workplace. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers. 1 Noland, Robert, Professor of Psychology, University of Dayton. 2 Shain, Martin, Employee Assistance Programs, pg. 66. 3 Myers, Donald, Establishing and Building Employee Assistance Programs, pg. 3. 4 Gordon, Steve, Exec. Director, TEAM Inc. 5 Scanlon, Walter, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in the Workplace, pg. 103. ...read more.

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