Corporate Wellness by Wellness Interactive Inc
According to Morneau Shepell Inc., a
company that provides Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) for corporations, the
use of such programs has increased 50% over the last 4 years. Employees are
sending a message loud and clear – they need assistance managing stress. Stress
can be particularly debilitating during the holiday season when the
expectations far outnumber the hours of the day and the money in the pocket.
How can employers help?
Market the Benefits
If you have a wellness program or an
Employee Assistance Program make sure every employee knows it and knows what
they provide. Mentioning it in the employee newsletter or on the new employee
list as one of the many benefits they receive is not enough.
Make sure they understand what the
programs are, if there’s a cost associated with them, and how often they can
use them. This takes more than mentioning, this requires marketing. Have a
health and wellness fair, put it on your internal hold music, hang posters, or
come up with other creative ideas to get the message out there.
Help Managers See the Benefit
A manager’s success is based on her
team’s, so having an unproductive employee is not ideal. Train a manager that
if he sees a change in an employee’s productivity to have a talk with her and
make sure she is aware of the assistance the company provides.
Some managers may feel awkward in
potentially addressing a personal issue but they’re really addressing
productivity and letting the employee know they’ve noticed a change. Managers
don’t need to – nor should they – grill the employee on a personal matter,
merely call their attention to available resources.
Offer Coping Programs and Tools
In addition to an EAP, creating a culture where voicing
opinions is valued, not stifled, can help encourage overwhelmed employees to
speak up rather than hide their concerns. Offering seminars and sessions that
help employees cope with stress and give them the tools
they need to process it, will also help them face their issues on their own for
those who don’t feel comfortable seeking help with an EAP.