In some companies, getting senior management to invest in more than just the bare minimum to comply with the law is an uphill battle. So you can imagine the struggle trying to get them to spend money on optional programs, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), which help employees deal with personal and emotional issues such as addiction, domestic violence and PTSD.
But the results of a recent study on the return on investment (ROIs) for EAPs may help you convince management that such programs provide not only benefits for employees but also financial benefits for the company.
The study by Morneau Shepell was based on data from 80,000 users of EAPs in 2013. Its purpose was to calculate the ROI provided by such programs in Canada (there’s been a lot of research on the ROI from these services in the US and other countries).
The study considered only two of the potential benefits of having an EAP:
- Improved productivity while at work
- Reduced absence from work.
The study found that organizations had an average $8.70 return for every $1 invested in their EAP, with the majority of organizations having an ROI in the range of $6 to $10 for every dollar invested.
Researchers also found that organizations with a higher usage of their EAPs had a better ROI than those with lower usage levels. For example, organizations with usage levels of 15% and above had a return exceeding $10 for every dollar invested in their EAP.
As part of this research, a follow-up study was completed to determine the impact of an EAP on preventing potential future absence from work. Almost half (46%) of EAP users indicated that they would’ve missed work had it not been for the services provided by an EAP; one third of those said they would’ve lost more than 20 days of work.
Other key findings:
- 63% of EAP users indicated that the issue that brought them to an EAP had negatively impacted their productivity in the preceding four weeks
- 34% indicated that they had four or more hours of workplace absence in the preceding four weeks
- On average, EAP users reported an increase in productive work hours of 35.9% in the four weeks immediately preceding the close of the EAP case.
Bottom line: Every $1 invested in EAPs provides more than eight times the ROI, which was based on a combination of improved productivity and reduced absence from work for employees that use EAPs.
The OHS Insider can help you show the ROI for other types of programs, including:
- Safety training programs
- Safety incentive programs
- Wellness programs
- Participatory ergonomics programs.
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