May 19, 2023
Employees are often expected to be high performers. They are typically required to maintain a positive attitude on the job and to always appear engaged in their work. Are these expectations reasonable? Usually, yes. But what about when “life” happens?
We are human. We all encounter times when personal crises, relationship challenges, grief, or mental health issues fall into the spotlight. Despite efforts to keep up appearances, these great struggles often spill over from our personal lives and affect us at work.
The pressure to maintain a certain level of productivity while juggling these issues can quickly lead to burnout. Certain workplace environments, on-the-job experiences, and interpersonal or organizational struggles can also contribute to worsening mental health among workers.
Unfortunately, many employees end up seeing the mental health challenges they face as problems they need to address alone. They attempt to hide their symptoms or “fix” what they perceive to be the problem to avoid repercussions at work. In short, employees may fear job loss due to their mental health.
Meanwhile, coworkers and leadership may notice a decline in the employee’s performance or demeanor. They might assume that the employee is simply dissatisfied with work and must be “on their way out.” Is this fair?
On the other hand, some employees might “successfully” mask the issue, even going as far as overcompensating by increasing their time or output at work. This might be misconstrued as a sign that the employee is doing well. Leadership might interpret this wrongly by assuming the employee is ready for an increased workload or additional responsibilities.
Either way, when it comes to employee wellbeing, things are not always as they seem.
Mental health symptoms are not always easy to spot, but when issues are safely acknowledged and treated the outlook becomes favorable. Most mental health concerns can be treated effectively to allow the individual to function at work, school, or social environments.
This why it is important to make sure employees have access to crucial resources and support. An employer-sponsored Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may be part of the solution.
EAPs are employer-sponsored benefits and confidential services designed to assist employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, and mental and emotional wellbeing.
EAPs generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees and their household members. EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges.
EAPs can reap benefits for agencies, employees, families, and communities by:
It is common for challenging life circumstances and mental health disorders to arise during life. Anyone can experience these obstacles. But it is important to remember that health and wellness issues can be managed, and can often improve with help. Moving forward is possible.
Introducing an EAP can help create a work environment where employees feel safe to be open about the challenges they face without the fear of disciplinary action. EAPs present a win-win solution by providing resources to strengthen organizations and empower employees.
Consider the list of benefits above. As a member of the workforce, how would you and your organization most benefit from introducing an EAP?
Andrews & Associates Counseling offers customized programs to meet the needs of organizations in Manhattan, KS and surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on providing services that are specific and tailored, whether to the individual or the organization. Contact us today to ask about custom EAP options and to learn more about our corporate counseling services. ⯁
Article first published to LinkedIn: June 29, 2021.
As the Director of Marketing and Communications at Andrews & Associates Counseling, Liza enjoys connecting clients to the information, services, and resources they are looking for. Liza’s favorite pastimes include lifting weights, cross-country mountain biking, and exploring the outdoors with her two rescue dogs.
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