In the 1940's, American companies started to implement the alcohol intervention program. Data on the negative impact of alcohol and drug abuse on employees and business collected through research contributed to the development of this program. The results of studies were shocking: business losses were enormous. The employers showed interest in reducing losses and developing a new approach to the problem. It was the first action plan in the workplace which served the interests of both employees and businesses.
The concept of the Employee Assistance program (EAP) was formed and presented in 1973.The main idea was that employees' personal problems not resolved in a timely manner can negatively impact not only their private life but also their performance at work.
Later, experts in employee support developed a number of programs which helped to boost employee wellbeing and contributed to the business efficiency.
Nowadays, the Employee Assistance Program is the basis of Wellbeing programs and experts in employee support have become specialists in corporate mental (behavioral) health.
Wellness & Wellbeing Programs relate to the field of mental health management and include the following components:
Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Alcohol and drug intervention program.
Health risks assessment.
Smoking reduction program.
Why do businesses need Wellness & Wellbeing programs?
Wellness & Wellbeing Programs:
Shape and reinforce employees' safe behavior.
Enhance performance and stress resilience.
Restore and reinforce employees' physical and mental (behavioral) health.
Help to develop healthy lifestyle
Have a visible social effect: programs involve the biggest group of population – working people and their relatives. The employer can produce most powerful impact on these people because the employer has the possibility to influence employees' behavior not only in the workplace but also outside it, if it disturbs their productivity.
Boost employees' motivation, involvement in work and satisfaction with life in general.
Prevalence of Employee Assistance Programs
In English-speaking countries more than 98% of companies with more than 1000 employees have EAP.
Nowadays Employee Assistance Programs are used in most countries. In particular, BRIC countries also implemented these programs at workplaces.
In several countries EAP are obligatory in particular areas of production. For example, in the USA and Canada employers in nuclear industry have to provide their employees with EAP – it's a question of national security.
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