Your employees will have had reactions of stress, fear, and shock during the crisis of Covid-19. Many are likely to be experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, anger, sadness and anxiety. Some may be suffering from loneliness or depression during this difficult time.
There is widespread concern about how profoundly mental health will be impacted over the coming months. Employers and Managers will need to understand the human impacts of Covid-19.
Your people are the most important asset, and the availability of ongoing support for them could impact how your business survives. Employee Assistance Programmes (known as ‘EAPs) help demonstrate ‘Duty of Care’ and give businesses an opportunity to support their staff during times of emotional and financial stress.
Confidential telephone / online assistance is available for advice and information on a variety of matters.
Areas that may be particularly relevant in the current situation include;
- Up to date health information about coronavirus
- Help in adjusting to this new way of life
- How to talk to children about Covid-19
- Live chat 24/7
- Guidance on legal and financial issues (including debt)
- How to cope with negative feelings
- Working from home with children
- Desk ergonomics when working from home
- Toolkits and apps for mindfulness and meditation
- Bereavement support
- Tips on building resilience
- Support with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns
- How to manage remote working
- Relationship problems
- Queries on things such as what to do if a holiday abroad has been booked
An EAP can also be of great benefit to the business with access to information on HR Best Practice and Employment Law Answers to business questions – one of the most asked questions is ‘What do we do if someone refuses to come into work?’
Anonymised Management Information can also be provided to help spot trends that may need addressing in the future.
EAP Covid-19 Key Points:
- All correspondence is completely confidential – employees should be reassured about this
- Counselling is usually included and depending on how comprehensive the EAP is, this may be in the form of Telephone, Online, CBT or Face to Face. Counsellors are required to be qualified in the relevant area
- Most EAPs offer a mobile app
- Services provided in an EAP are also often available to an employees’ dependents
- Line Manager support is provided by most EAPs – helping them deal with day to day and more serious concerns about those they manage
- EAPs can be purchased as a stand-alone benefit or may be offered free as part of another benefit (eg Health Insurance, Disability Insurance, Medical Insurance, Income Protection or Health Cash Plan)
- An EAP is a very low-cost benefit and can be regarded as a business expense
- Your EAP provider will be able to provide promotional literature