3The Need for Employee Counseling Have you ever seen people:Struggling due to high levels of anxiety?Refusing treatment for a treatable condition?Experiencing job burnout?Involved in efforts to promote good health?
4Personal problems are a part of life Personal problems affect job performanceHealthcare costs continue to riseReducing tardiness, absenteeism, lost time and worker’s compensation saves moneyReducing turnover can improve productivity and the bottom line
5Addressing Employee Well-Being Promotes employee moraleReduces the impact of external factors on workPromotes productivityCheaper to train, treat, and retain existing workers than to hire new ones
6Employee Counseling as an HRD Function Counseling serves the same goal as other HRD activitiesImproving/maintaining worker performanceSame techniques are used, especially coachingSame kinds of analysis and planning needed
7Overview of Counseling Programs 1. Problem Identification2. Education3. Counseling4. Referral5. Treatment6. Follow-up
9Education Pamphlets Videos Lectures Unsolicited Television Radio Other media
10CounselingNeeds a non-threatening person with whom the worker can discuss problems and seek help. Options include:Supervisor/coachOmbudsmanHRD CounselorProfessional Counselor
11ReferralDirecting employee to appropriate resources for assistance – e.g.,PhysicianSubstance abuse treatment centerMarriage counselorAlcoholics Anonymous (AA)Other options (clergy)
12Treatment The actual intervention to solve the problem – e.g., 1. Group therapy2. Medications3. Individual therapy4. Psychological therapy
13Follow-upNeeded to:Ensure the employee is indeed carrying out the treatmentObtain information on employee progressEnsure that referrals and treatment are effective
14A Caution About Employee Counseling All six approaches are not always neededThe following issues drive which approach is taken:Type of problem identifiedAppropriate responseAvailable resources
15Who Provides Employee Counseling? Depends on the organization and organizational cultureCan be done using:Corporate resources (In-house)Outside resources (Out-of-house)
16In-House Efforts Advantages: Internal control Familiarity with organizationBetter coordination of effortsSense of ownershipGreater internal credibilityDisadvantages:ConfidentialityLack of needed resourcesEmployee reluctance to use servicesLimitations in staff skill and expertise
17Contracting Externally (Out-of-House) Advantages:Subject matter expertsConfidentiality easier to maintainLower costBetter identification and use of resourcesDisadvantages:Lack of on-site servicesPossible communications problemsLack of organizational knowledge
18Characteristics of Effective Programs 1. Top management support2. Clear policies and procedures3. Cooperation with unions and employee groups4. A range of care:Referral to community resourcesFollow-up
19Characteristics of Effective Programs 5. Policy of guaranteed confidentiality6. Maintenance of records for program evaluation7. Health insurance benefit coverage for services8. Family education
20EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employee benefits programs offered by many employers, typically in conjunction with a health insurance plan. EAPs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being. EAPs generally include assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members.
21PURPOSEThe purpose of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is to improve the psychological health of your employees. It will help your staff develop coping skills and accept a greater degree of personal responsibility. It will help them resolve their individual, marital, family and job performance problems. As a result, their productivity and attendance will improve.
22FEATURESDirect Access: Employees call the psychologist's office directly.Quick Response: The first counselling session occurs within a few days, and a crisis is dealt with immediately.Professional: Counsellors have their Doctorate degree in clinical psychology, and are experts in human behaviour.Confidentiality: The employer never knows who uses the service.Off-Site: Counselling takes place at the Psychologist's office.Direct Treatment: Referrals are made only when the patient requires another specialist or long-term care.Appropriate Coverage: 24 hours a day hot-line with offices in towns and cities in which employees are located
23Employees and their household members may use EAPs to help manage issues in their work and personal lives. EAP counsellors typically provide assessment, support, and, if needed, referrals to additional resources. The issues for which EAPs provide support vary, but examples include:Substance abuseSafe working environmentEmotional distressMajor life events, including births, accidents and deathsHealth care concernsFinancial or legal concernsFamily/personal relationship issuesWork relationship issuesConcerns about aging parents
24SUBSTANCE ABUSESubstance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome - a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.
25People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost. The toll for this abuse can be seen in our hospitals and emergency departments through direct damage to health by substance abuse and its link to physical trauma. Jails and prisons tally daily the strong connection between crime and drug dependence and abuse. Although use of some drugs such as cocaine has declined, use of other drugs such as heroin and "club drugs" has increased.
26Behavior Patterns That Could Indicate A Potential Substance Abuse Problem AbsenteeismOn-The-Job AbsencesHigh Accident RatesJob Performance IssuesPoor Relationships with coworkers
27MENTAL HEALTHThe World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder.
28MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES Individual adjustment problems External factors Divorce and marital problemsDepression and suicide attemptsDifficulties with family or childrenLegal and financial problems
29CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS EAPs are based on the premise that work is very important to people, the work itself is not the cause of the employee’s problem. Consequently, the workplace can be a means to get people help.The supervisor plays a key role in getting help for the employee. Often, however, the supervisor denies the problem and even enables the troubled employee to continue the problem behavior. The supervisor is critical in confrontational process with the troubled employee. Therefore, education is necessary to eliminate the supervisor’s tendency to enable the employee by denying the problem.
30Information about the employee’s job performance is extremely important in diagnosis and treatment. It can be used to measure and track whether treatment is successful.Workplace peers and union stewards are very important, however they too can deny the problem and enable the employee to continue the behavior. Teaching them to confront and consequently break the denial barrier is an important element.Job leverage is the key ingredient in helping an employee. The counselor must be able to use this in conjunction with supervisor.EAPs concentrate on job performance issues. They are not intended to be medical programs.
31Cost – effectiveness is an important consideration and must be addressed with upper management. The EAP professional’s knowledge about addiction is paramount. Every EAP should be staffed by licensed professional s who are familiar with addictions and other employee personal problem.
32EFFECTIVENESS OF EAPs Effectiveness is “generally accepted” Estimated 50% to 85% effectiveness rateEstimated savings of $2 to $20 per dollar invested in EAPHowever, much EAP evaluation is subjective, and strongly criticized
33EAPs AND THE HRD PROFESSIONAL EAPs are often housed within the HRD area of the organizationHRD must determine:Costs vs. benefits of the program in monetary termsWhether it’s cheaper to replace an individual than to successfully treat that personHealthcare organizations are increasingly involved in EAPs (behavioral healthcare management)
34WHAT IS STRESS ?Stress is the “wear and tear” our minds and bodies experience as we attempt to cope with our continually changing environment.SOURCES OF STRESS:1) internal2) external
35THE ALARM REACTION Increased gland activity Increased heart beat and respirationElevated blood pressureBody poised for actionInsomniaFIGHT OR FLIGHT REACTION
36COMPONENTS OF STRESS Stressor Psychological or physical response to stressorInteraction between the stressor and the individual’s response
40SMIsStress management interventions or programs are defined as “any activity, program or opportunity initiated by an organization, which focuses on reducing the presence of work – related stressors or an assisting individuals to minimize the negative outcomes of exposures to these stressors”
41TYPES OF SMIsEducationalSkill- acquisition oriented
42EFFECTIVENESS OF SMIs Look for specific issues with employees AssessmentSpecific and focused solutionsStrategic interventionsEvaluation and feedback
43EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAMS Employee wellness programs (EWPs) or Health Promotion Programs (HPPs) are made up of activities that ensure employee health and fitness.Wellness is more than mere absence of disease.These Programs attempt to encourage individuals to adopt lifestyle that maximize overall well-being.
44Three Levels of Fitness and Wellness Programs O’Donnell describes three levels at which fitness and wellness programs can be implemented.Level 1 – primarily educational without interventionsLevel 2 – seeks to bring about direct change:Supervised exercise, fitness centers, etc.Level 3 – institutionalized wellness
45Ten Dimensions of Work Site Wellness Heirich described 10 dimensions of worksite wellness programs:1.Establishing a Constructive wellness policy2. Conducting wellness screening3.Establishing Working relationships with community resources4. Employee referrals to treatment and health-improvement interventions.5. Menu-approach to health improvement
46Ten Dimensions of Work Site Wellness 6. Outreach and follow-up counseling7. wellness events carried for entire organization.8. Worksite policies and systems9. Ongoing evaluation of wellness process10. Periodic evaluation of cost-benefits of wellness programs
47Exercise and Fitness Interventions 1. Most popular interventions2. Even modest exercise helps prevent disease3. Research shows effectivenessProblem: Getting those who would benefit the most to exercise
48Smoking Cessation Programs Smoking: most publicized health riskCost per smoking employee: $2,853 per year more than nonsmokersMeasuring effectiveness:Quit ratePercentage of smokers in programCost Benefit: $8 saved for $1 spent
49Nutrition and Weight Control Obesity: 30% or more over one’s “ideal” weight30% of Americans are obese; another 34% are overweightObesity causes hypertension, musculoskeletal problems, high blood sugar, and cholesterol levelsCompetition helps program effectiveness
50Control of Hypertension Hypertension – blood pressure greater than 140/90 repeatedly over timeGreater incidence of heart disease and strokeControl through, exercise, weight loss, medication, stress reduction and low salt dietBenefit: $1.89 to $2.72 reduction in health claims per dollar spent on program
51Overall Effectiveness of Health and Wellness Programs Organizations should have multiple components to their health and wellness programsStudies and Research demonstrate reductions in sick leave, health plan costs, and worker’s compensation costs of over 25%.Challenge :To get more organizations to implement such inclusive wellness programsTo see that more individuals take part in them.
52Issues in Employee Counseling 1. Effectiveness of programs2. Legal issues3. Who is responsible for counseling?4. Ethical issues5. Unintended negative outcomes
53Effectiveness of Counseling )Determine organizational demographicsDetermine expected participation ratesEstimate start-up and maintenance costsImplement test and tracking systemMeasure pre- and post programAnalyze results for users and non-usersDo present and future cost-benefit analyses
54Legal IssuesUsing counseling programs to comply with legislation may increase liability to lawsuits:Must be equally available to allErroneous assessments are madeInjuries in wellness/fitness programs can lead to lawsuits
55Responsibility for Employee Counseling HRD Professionals?Supervisors?Unions?Management?Individuals?What are your thoughts?
56Ethical Issues Confidentiality: Nature of Participation: Records should be held in strictest confidence, and kept separate from the employee’s regular personnel fileRelease only with specific employee permissionNature of Participation:Mandatory versus voluntary
57QuestionShould participation be mandatory or voluntary?Why?
58Potential Unintended Negative Outcomes Increased worker’s compensation costsEmployee scheduling problems, increased fatigue, lower performanceConflicts at work over smoking bans
59Closing Thoughts EAPs show that companies care HRD professionals have the skills and expertise to provide EAP informationPromoting employee health and well-being can contributes positively to an organization’s bottom line.
60SummaryEmployee well-being affects ability, availability, and readiness to perform a jobEmployee counseling encompasses a lot of areasIt is an HRD function that:Ensures that employees are now effective contributors to the organization, and that they will continue to be in the futureNeeds professionals who are qualified to deal with the difficult issues involved with this topic