Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
We are a team of healthcare professionals (doctors, psychologists), teachers-researchers in management and workplace health and legal experts specializing in resolving conflicting situations at work. Our areas of competence are complementary and are being combined in order to create a unique approach enabling the resolution of companies’ collective suffering and collaborators’ individual preoccupations that affect well-being and productivity at the workplace.
The association of our expertise allowed for the pooling of resources such as: tools, methods as well as training and awareness raising devices.
Suffering at the workplace
We offer an assistance program for employees in the form of confidential counseling services, similar to trusted persons. This program is designed for employees with personal or professional issues affecting their health and productivity.
- High-level counterparts (doctors and psychologists)
- Rapid assistance
- A global return per year
- No entry costs.
Common issues for which an assistance program is requested:
- Personal problems
- Workplace stress
- Professional exhaustion
- Relationship problems
- Substance abuse
- Separation and important loss
- Work-life balance.
How to access the program
There are two ways to access the program:
- Either the company identifies the employee who suffers at the workplace and refers them to us for assistance or
- The company informs the employees of the existence of an assistance program and the employees who suffer at the workplace freely address us.
In both cases, confidentiality of the talks is guaranteed by the ethics of the professional welcoming the employee.
The sessions take place at our offices, outside of the company.
It is preferable that the appointments take place outside of working hours, whether the assistance request is made at the company’s recommendation or at the employee’s initiative.
Goals and principles of functioning
The assistance program to employees has a double objective: prevention and treatment. It aims to manage burnout situations, conflicts, mobbing as well as to inform and train the personnel.
The functioning principles include independence, confidentiality and impartiality.
The employed methods and the implemented interventions are tailored to the situations at hand. This could signify care provided by doctors, psychological assistance provided by psychologists or guidance towards promoting a healthy lifestyle. The performers favor approaches that stem from short-term therapies: they help the employee to identify, evaluate their difficulties and put forward an action plan. The program is solution-oriented.
Anonymity is ensured: the names of the employees requesting the assistance program will not be communicated to the company. A mere statistical report is created, with a global feedback on the frequently encountered difficulties.
We are thus recommending one or several contact persons to whom the employees can entrust their difficulties and receive counseling on the attitude and communication to be adopted in conflicting situations.
History and results of EAP
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a device implemented by a company that provides employees and their close family environment with an anonymous and confidential psychological assistance tool containing evaluation, counseling, information and psychological support. The EAP were created in the United States at the beginning of the 1930s within the industries which were sensitive to the health and wellbeing of their employees. Today, nearly 90% of the largest American companies benefit from an EAP.
The results of an EAP
The ratios of the returns of investment cited in American studies rank between 3 to 15$ for 1$ invested.
Among the observed results were: diminishing of absenteeism, workplace accidents and conflicts.
(Source: “Développer le bien-être au travail”, P. Angel, P. Amar, MJ Gava, Brigitte Vaudolon, Dunod 2005).
Sources of vulnerability
Vulnerability sources can be found both at an individual, and at a company level. The goal is to identify them in order to determine how to eliminate them, or, if the latter is not possible, diminish suffering.
Examples of vulnerability sources:
- Personal problems
- Low assertiveness and self esteem
- Unrealistic goals leading to situations of permanent failure
- Power abuse
- Lack of listening and emotional support
- Lack of autonomy
- Difficulties implementing one’s competences
- Applying incompatible instructions
- Incessant personal or professional criticism (bullying, humiliations, insults, threats)
- Relationship problems
- Separation and loss
- Work-life balance
- Financial and legal problems
- Family violence.
Psychological suffering at work can be revealed through an overinvestment or, on the contrary, and underinvestment concerning work. For instance, you arrive increasingly early and leave much later, don’t take lunch breaks or eat at your desk (in front of your screen), you feel completely overwhelmed, constantly thinking about work, on the weekend, at night, you take your work with you. Or you drag your feet every day to reach your workplace, are not driven or are afraid to go to work. You lack motivation, don’t advance in your assigned tasks, make mistakes, are not open to new things. You may cry at work, give up or leave your workplace.
It feels like you are in an unsolvable predicament, your professional activity makes you sad, you cry. You feel incompetent, helpless, overwhelmed. You don’t laugh anymore, are not a good company, you keep going over your professional struggles. You feel misunderstood, unsupported by your contacts. You feel bullied at work, ruminate ideas such as: “I’m sure that my superiors want to get rid of me, break me down”, “the little newbie wants to take my place, he does whatever it takes to destabilize me.”
You think that you are constantly being falsely reprimanded, you feel left out, no longer participating in the life of the company, like a scapegoat. You keep taking psychotropics, anxiolytics and/or antidepressants, tobacco, alcohol. You have a weak resistance to stress, heightened emotional reactions. You feel stress very strongly, are easily annoyed, lose your temper, you may shout, isolate yourself to gain some distance from your sources of stress. You feel lonely, little supported, little encouraged. You take all comments to heart, and always negatively. You don’t take any advice; you perceive it as criticism. You lack energy, particularly for accomplishing your personal or family goals. You have trouble sleeping: you struggle to fall asleep, get little sleep, or no sleep at all, wake up during the night. Your concentration and attention drop more and more frequently. You have chronic back pain, ulcers, headaches, eczemas. You gained a lot of weight or lost a lot.
Getting out of the predicament
The program’s first step consists of a medical evaluation. A status report is established after the interview, and if necessary, assistance will be carried out under the guidance of a psychologist.
Workplace suffering affects not only the professional life, but also the personal and family life. It entails a human and economic cost that can be neither overestimated nor neglected. Many people in this situation feel helpless, ashamed and continue to suffer for years, although there are ways to overcome it. How? By talking about it within the company, to a representative of the personnel, a psychologist or a doctor. Above all, it is important that the employee tries to express his or her distress without generalizing.
It is interesting to talk about specific events that cause suffering: when, how, since when etc. It is important to reflect together upon the origins of a particular event, define in time and space, in order to stay within the topic (for instance, “globalization problems” are off-topic and should not overshadow specific problems). Address these aspects with your colleagues, perhaps they are encountering the same difficulties as you. Internal measures in the company are possible, such as training, transfers. Radical change requires courage, and it is important to ask for help, as a new professional orientation also means transforming the relationship with ourselves with patience, confidence and listening to ourselves (coaching, psychotherapy).
You will learn to transform your suffering into energy to take care of yourself.
At companies’ request, we carry out global surveys to diagnose psycho-social risks, with coping recommendations. Moreover, we organize trainings to raise awareness to aspects regarding psychosocial risks, with advice to managers/supervisors on difficult situations.
We also offer other services, such as assistance to laid off employees, as well as promoting well-being, health and physical conditioning (be it weight control, diet, physical exercise or smoking).
- Absenteeism analysis
- Diagnosis of psychosocial risks
- Studying of workplace wellbeing
- Training in conflict management
- Evaluation management devices
Training in management and workplace health.
PROFESSIONALISM AND INTEGRITY
Our team integrates the highest standards of professional ethics, personal and professional conduct, particularly for accreditation, licensing, certification and continuous training.
The program guarantees the strictest confidentiality, according to federal laws and ethical norms of appropriate professional licensing institutions.
RESEARCH OF NON-ADVERSARIAL SOLUTIONS
The program engages collaborators in order to find non-adversarial solutions through judicial mediation or other forms of alternative conflict resolution in order to minimize formal complaints and contentious appeals.
INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES REINFORCEMENT
The program aims to raise awareness and promote responsibility amongst collaborators and/or companies by means of counseling, education, training and self-esteem improvement in order to help solve their difficulties.
The program helps individuals and groups to develop better communication skills, especially non-violent communication, in order to effectively manage interpersonal conflicts.