First Ever ROI Tool for Integrated Work/Life and EAP Programs Introduced by Workplace Options.

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Workplace Options, the leading provider of work/life programs to corporate America, through partnerships with employee assistance (EAP) companies, today announced an ROI consulting model that helps employers measure the business value of Work/Life programs delivered through an EAP.

First Ever ROI Tool for Integrated Work/Life and EAP Programs Introduced by Workplace Options

New Method Goes Beyond Simple Calculators to More Accurately Measure and Align Work/Life and EAP Results to Business Objectives

Raleigh, NC – January 13, 2004 – Workplace Options, the leading provider of work/life programs to corporate America, through partnerships with employee assistance (EAP) companies, today announced an ROI consulting model that helps employers measure the business value of Work/Life programs delivered through an EAP.    

The majority of Work/Life and EAP programs are integrated, and although most research confirms integrated EAP and Work/Life programs are preferred by both employers and employees, there has not existed an ROI method that can measure the value of these integrated programs. “Integrated programs took hold in the marketplace because employers intuitively knew that Work/Life and EAP programs had more value when delivered together,” said Mary Ellen Gornick, senior advisor for work/life at Workplace Options. “Now we have developed a way to demonstrate the solid business value of integrated EAP and Work/Life programs, showing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

ROI calculators, which traditionally have been used to measure the ROI of individual Work/Life programs, lack the scope necessary to capture the cumulative tangible and intangible benefits related to the company’s human capital investment.

The new method, called the Work/Life and EAP Value Model, was pioneered by consultants at Workplace Options, including Mary Ellen Gornick who has over 20 years of experience in the Work/Life field. The method is unique in that it is not based on a formula. Instead, the method is based on a consultative approach that uses data obtained through organizational assessments, actual EAP and Work/Life usage and outcome data to help companies understand how the program is meeting a company’s unique business objectives. Because the method is focused on an integrated EAP and Work/Life model, it also looks at the relationships of Work/Life with respect to other company programs and benefits.

“Every company is unique and has different reasons for implementing Work/Life and EAP programs,” says Alan King, chief operating officer of Workplace Options. “HR executives want ROI data that is based on their company’s reality, and they know a calculator, no matter how sophisticated, cannot provide the level of insight needed to make sound business decisions. Our method brings insight to how a Work/Life program fits into the strategy of an organization and how it influences employee satisfaction, commitment, and to what extent it meets a company’s business objectives.”

Mr. King encourages companies who are interested in measuring the value of Work/Life and EAP to also look at how they are promoting the programs to employees since any measurement on value relates directly to how visible the programs are and how often they are used.

“Many companies have Work/Life and EAP programs but employees do not use them – either because they are not aware of them or, culturally, managers do not embrace or support the programs,” says Alan King. “Before any measurement of value can be done, our consultants first work with benefit managers to develop strategic promotional plans that ensure all segments of the employee population are aware of how the benefits will assist them. We also focus attention on managers, helping them see the Work/Life program as a resource that will in turn help employees feel encouraged to use them. Unless this is the case, it simply does not make sense to measure ROI.”

Workplace Options will release a Work/Life ROI Kit titled “A Process Guide to Work/Life ROI” in February. In addition, Workplace Options plans to introduce a public web site dedicated to Work/Life ROI including a moderated discussion forum on the subject. Companies wishing to request information on this new ROI Kit or the soon-to-be launched web site may call 800-699-8011.

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Mary Ellen Gornick