Like most U.S. companies, yours too probably offers a great selection of medical benefits and a 401(k) to its employees. But with the economy on the rise, employers are increasingly competing in an environment with a low unemployment rate that favors employees. What else can you do to attract employees? That’s where an employee assistance program, or EAP, comes in.
An estimated 97% of companies with 5,000 employees or more have EAPs, meaning It’s important to have an edge over the competitors in order to recruit top talent. One way to stand apart from the crowd? Take care of the whole person, not just your employee, and add a wellness component to your employee assistance program.
EAP services in a nutshell
An EAP is a work-based program that assists employees with a wide range of challenges in their personal lives that may affect their workplace performance, problems such as:
- Marital or family
- Substance abuse
EAPs don’t just work with devastating problems. They also help with life negotiations and transitions, such as:
- Adoption assistance
- Legal assistance and referrals
- Child and elder care services
- Mortgage and financial planning counseling
EAP services usually extend to other significant people in the employees’ life, such as their spouse, children, domestic partner, and sometimes even in-laws.
Don’t be shy to go beyond the basics with your employee assistance services. Here are some workplace wellness programs that will make your EAP program really shine.
1. Sleep training
Sleep training is often a term used for young children who are being conditioned to sleep through the night, but it’s something many adults need help with as well. According to a Gallup poll, “medical studies have related a lack of sleep to health problems and cognitive impairment” and 40% of Americans get less sleep than recommended. Getting a full, restful night of sleep is the best natural remedy for all kinds of employee woes.
Businesses like A Good Sleep offer sleeping workshops for those who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting a restful night in general. Luckily, this is the kind of class where the teacher will be happy if you doze off in the middle of it.
If your employees spend many hours in the day crouched over a computer, it’s time to bust out the massage services! Bringing in massages can help relieve back pain and stiffness, reduce sciatica pain, and even help employees avoid flu symptoms.
Plus, it’s a special and thoughtful benefit that every employee can get excited about. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, Zeel offers same day, on-demand massages in 85+ cities and corporate wellness programs as well.
3. Social and emotional well-being
Everyone wants to feel safe and included in their workplace. Instances of workplace bullying — such as sabotaging others’ work, or verbal abuse — have no place in a functional work environment.
Even less visible forms of workplace bullying, such as gossip or passive aggression, can take a toll on your team and their overall results. Prioritizing the social and emotional well-being of an employee in an EAP service can take on a variety of forms. For example, offer a workshop on workplace etiquette, or bring in experts to talk about conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
When you’re very focused on work, keeping a level head and perspective can be challenging. According to the American Psychological Association, practicing mindfulness results in reduced rumination boosts to working memory, better focus, less emotional reactivity, and even more relationship satisfaction.
There are many different paths to mindfulness, from yoga to tai chi to meditation. For example, you may consider offering a free subscription to HeadSpace, which offers guided breathing and meditation practices from a smartphone app.
5. Nutrition planning
A healthy diet has a cascading positive effect on an employee’s life. However, many people don’t know where to start. Consider offering nutrition classes to employees who are interested in finding the best eating habits for their personal needs and lifestyle. Studies have shown that families who participated in nutritional programs purchase and prepare more nutritional foods.
6. Fertility assistance
Fertility assistance covers a wide array of services, such as in-vitro fertilization, egg donation, and even surrogacy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10% of women, or 6.1 million women in the US, have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.
Offering fertility assistance as part of your EAP wellness program will show your employees that you care about all aspects of their lives. It’s also listed as a highly-coveted benefit, with companies like Pinterest, Spotify, and Salesforce leading the charge.
No matter which wellness components you decide to add to your EAP services, investing in your employees’ well-being will help your company thrive. Looking for more? Check out 10 additional ideas for employee appreciation and wellness!