Study shows EAP makes significant impact on workplace performance

June 2, 2015


EAP---INFO4---300One of the hardest times in Wanda Davis’ life came more than a decade ago when she learned her mother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

From that moment until her mother’s death 10 years later, Davis, a human resources manager at West Campus, became her mother’s primary care giver. During that time, Davis took her mother to hundreds of doctor appointments, she spent hours coordinating her mother’s medical care, and she tried to come to terms with the fact that her mother, who was suffering from kidney disease, could pass at any time.

All of this took a toll on Davis, who said she began to lose focus at work and struggled to get things done.

“I felt like I was spinning,” she said. “I wasn’t myself.”

Davis’ leader at the time noticed she was going through a tough time and suggested she reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers confidential, professional services to assist employees in solving personal difficulties affecting their personal lives and work.

Davis took her leader’s advice and started weekly counseling sessions that ended up helping her more than she could have ever imagined. After her mother passed in 2009, Davis completed a grief support program offered by EAP.

“I don’t know where I would be today without EAP,” Davis said. “I learned so much from them and still use the techniques they taught me.”

Davis is one of many Texas Children’s employees EAP helps each year. A recent impact study measuring the department’s outcomes shows EAP has a significant impact on workplace performance. Based on four years of self-reported data collected from employees who have used EAP counseling services, the study found:

  • Absenteeism is down by 53 percent
  • Presenteeism is up by 25 percent
  • Life satisfaction is up by 19 percent
  • Work distress is down by 5 percent

“It is clear from the data that the EAP continually provides services that have a positive impact on worker productivity,” said EAP Program Manager Brent LoCaste-Wilken. “Of particular note is the significant influence on absenteeism.”

The 53 percent improvement is 7 percent higher than 20 other EAP providers in medium to large companies. In addition, it translates into an annual savings of more than 18,000 hours and almost $616,000.

Work presenteeism measures whether an employee is working at his or her optimum. Recent research indicates that losses due to poor presenteeism rival that of medical claims. The impact study shows that the EAP improved people’s concentration and productivity by 25 percent.

Life satisfaction is a general measurement of an employee’s general sense of wellbeing. EAP participants reported that they were significantly more satisfied with their life after coming to the EAP than prior to receiving EAP services. This measurement helps to enhance employee appreciation for Texas Children’s and is speculated to positively affect employee longevity and loyalty.

Work distress measures an employee’s feelings of distress about being at work. Although the impact study did not show a huge change, it does indicate that the EAP is making somewhat of an impact in this area.

“We are very pleased with the results of the study,” LoCaste-Wilken said. “We feel it shows our services are valued by our employees and are valuable to the organization as a whole.”

On average, EAP staff spends almost two hours with almost 1,000 clients each year. The EAP helps with problems such as:

  • Family/relationship issues
  • Workplace concerns
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Personal and emotional difficulties
  • Health and behavioral issues
  • Critical incident stress
  • Legal and financial referrals

Let the EAP help you carry out Texas Children’s values of embracing freedom, living compassionately, amplifying unity and leading tirelessly. Contact the EAP via Connect or call (832) 824-3327 for more information.