PEOs Help Workers Cope with Life’s Demands -- Progressive Employers Using EAPs Gain Advantage

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Stressed-out workers in small businesses have a great resource to help them cope with the causes when there is an Employee Assistance Program available through their workplaces. EAPs are available to nearly 100 percent of the small businesses working with professionalemployer organizations (PEOs). This release provides data and PEO executive comments on the value of EAPs to employers and employees. Contact Edie Clark at NAPEO for local PEOs and their clients to create the local angle as needed.

When a national trade association lost a treasured colleague to cancer in December, there was no way to predict the impact on her 12 remaining colleagues. Fortunately, this small organization could offer them a free, confidential resource -- an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) made available by their professional employer organization (PEO).

With the onslaught of various world tragedies and the growing complexities of balancing work and life demands, including financial demands, it’s no wonder that eight in 10 workers say they feel stress while on the job (Gallup poll). Job stress costs U.S. industries $300 billion a year.(1) The need for EAPs has never been greater.

EAPs provide a range of counseling services free of charge to prevent, identify and resolve personal, family and work-related issues that may affect workplace productivity. Through the employer’s arrangement, an EAP delivers a free, confidential counseling service to address the employees’ and eligible family members’ health, marital, family, financial,legal, emotional, stress, alcohol, drug or other personal issues. EAPs also provide management consultation and training to improve workplace productivity, wellness and safety.

An EAP is the mark of a progressive employer that recognizes the effects of stress on the workplace and the need to address this by offering professional and compassionate assistance. Since 2001, the percentage of all U.S. employers offering EAPs has risen from 68 percent to 73 percent.(2) However, EAP and other human resource benefits often are unavailable to small businesses – unless they work with a PEO.

The availability of an EAP varies with the size of an organization, according to the research. About six in 10 small companies (1-99 employees) offer EAPs, compared with nine in 10 large companies (500 or more employees). In contrast, nearly 100 percent of small businesses working with PEOs can offer an EAP to their worksite employees, according to the experts at the Professional Employer Organizations(NAPEO). These businesses gain an advantage over their competitors as they experience the benefits of EAPs and the reputation as progressive employers.

“Small businesses with PEOs are able to provide EAP services to help employees resolve personal conflicts and obtain counseling on a variety of matters. Along with HR best practices, EAPs are an effective tool for supervisors to better manage the workplace and troubled employees,” said JC Dominguez, president of SCI Companies, Inc., a PEO based in Florida. “A successful EAP can help employers decrease absenteeism, reduce costs associated with turnover, such as hiring and training replacements, and increase morale and productivity.”

EAPs started in the 1940s when several major companies sought ways to deal with the affects of addiction on the workplace. EAPs expanded in the 1980s to include help for relationship and emotional issues. By the 1990s employers recognized that EAPs could also address many different “work/life” issues -- including financial stress, which affects the emotional and mental health of one in four workers.(3)

“TriNet’s EAP doubles as a comprehensive work/life solutions service, providing legal and financial assistance as well as crisis counseling,” said Greg Hammond, executive vice president and general counsel for TriNet, a California-based PEO. “It’s an indispensable component of our offering, because it supports the employer’s value proposition while enhancing employee productivity and satisfaction.”

For a small business owner/operator, the EAP is an important human resource service that can assure a solution for a temporary problem in the workplace resulting from stress. If further counseling is necessary, the EAP counselor will outline the available community and private services and coordinate with the insurance carrier. The EAP is strictly confidential and designed to safeguard an employee’s privacy and rights.

“When employees spend eight or more hours a day at their workplaces, they may not be able to leave their problems at home, and when something tragic happens in the workplace, their grief cannot be ignored. In these cases their supervisors need a solution to offer -- and that solution is the EAP,” said Tim Doherty, CEO of Doherty Employer Services, and 1st vice president/president-elect of NAPEO. “Fortunately for small businesses with PEOs, that solution is readily available.”

For more information on PEOs and NAPEO, visit ww.napeo.org. Information about EAPs is available from the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, http://www.eapassn.org.

Footnotes:

1 American Institute of Stress, http://www.stress.org
“2005 Benefits Survey Report,” Society for Human Resource Management, http://www.shrm.org
2 “2005 Benefits Survey Report,” Society for Human Resource Management, http://www.shrm.org
3 “Financial Distress Among American Workers,” final report, http://www.EThomasGarman.net     

NAPEO, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, is the recognized “Voice of the PEO Industry.®” NAPEO has 350 PEO members found in all 50 states, representing more than 70 percent of the industry's revenues. Professional employer organizations enable clients to cost-effectively outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits,payroll and workers’ compensation. PEO clients focus on their core competencies to maintain and grow their bottom line. To learn more about the PEO industry and how PEOs contribute to small businesses’ success, visit the NAPEO Web site: http://www.napeo.org.

NAPEO

901 N. Pitt Street, Ste. 150, Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (703) 836-0466    

Web Site: http://www.napeo.org

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Edie Clark
NAPEO
703-739-8162
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