Chestnut Global Partners Publishes 2017 EAP and Wellness Trends and Analysis Report

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Chestnut Global Partners’ fourth annual report cites four emergent trends, their potential impact on workplace well-being, employee assistance, and benefits, and what it means for employers in 2017.

Chestnut Global Partners

We trust that the trends we identified and analyzed give organizations fresh ideas on leveraging EAP to better meet the needs of their employees and customers.

Chestnut Global Partners (CGP), a provider of culturally-aware employee assistance and wellness programs to companies worldwide, today announced the 2017 Trends Report, which identifies the four top developments that will shape the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and Wellness industry in 2017. The report is based on utilization patterns among CGP's user base, and a survey of its customers to gain insights and perspectives on the coming year.

Four Trends to Look For:

1. Requests for EAP support due to anxiety are on the rise. Although the top two reasons for accessing EAP services - (1) marital / relationship, and (2) stress – were consistent with previous years, the number of individuals seeking support for anxiety increased 29% compared to 2014 and 2015, moving it up one spot into third position on the 2016 top 10 list of EAP concerns. The category of anxiety is traditionally used to identify individuals who report more specific and serious physical / emotional symptoms of stress. Occupational concerns remained in the sixth spot for the third consecutive year, with job satisfaction due to organizational change and increased workloads comprising a majority of these cases.

2. Top three industry needs. Survey participants were asked to identify what they saw as the top needs for the EAP industry in the coming years. The top three were: (1) increased utilization rates, (2) improved collaboration and coordination of care, and (3) the production of measurable outcomes that improve the perceived value of EAP by purchasers (see trend item 4).

3. Procurement is increasingly involved in EAP purchasing decisions. In the past several years, EAP purchasing decisions have been increasingly ceded to procurement services, which typically focus on costs and savings vs. an analysis of the value of the service. HR and benefit teams have been in large part edged out of the decision making process – though they are the end users of services and ultimately responsible for the performance of the selected vendor. The limitation to this approach, however, is that it falsely assumes that all services and service providers are equal except in price. Since this cost is remarkably low even when selecting the highest cost vendor, procurement teams would benefit from focusing on identifying an EAP partner that is a good fit for the organization, and not just one that is offered at the best price.

4. EAP ROI analyses are becoming more “CFO-friendly.” To accurately gauge the financial impact of EAP services, the same data-driven metrics commonly applied to evaluate other parts of the business need to be used. While there are a variety of methods historically used by the EAP industry to demonstrate value, most have lacked the sophistication and well-researched default assumptions a CFO needs to conduct a credible analysis. As more EAP’s collect data on how EAP services impact workplace outcomes such as absenteeism, presenteeism, and work distress, sophisticated ROI analysis is becoming easier to calculate, ensuring that EAPs are not only improving the health and wellness of employees, but also helping the company achieve its business objectives.

“With each passing year our trends report is greeted with more anticipation, which we believe reflects the increasing relevance of EAP and the interest among providers and purchases around the globe in new ideas that maximize the value of these programs,” said Todd Donalson, CGP’s Director of Training and Consultation, and the lead author of the report. “This year’s report revealed several fascinating insights into the way EAP is deployed, evaluated, purchased and utilized. We trust that the trends we identified and analyzed give organizations fresh ideas on leveraging EAP to better meet the needs of their employees and customers.”

To read or download the full report, more, visit http://chestnutglobalpartners.org/Portals/cgp/Publications/Trends-Report-April2017.pdf

About Chestnut Global Partners

Chestnut Global Partners (CGP) is a behavioral health organization based in Bloomington, IL that offers a full range of culturally aware employee assistance and related workplace services. CGP combines EAP with wellness, disability, high risk maternity, employee safety and compliance management programs, designed to promote employee well-being, improve performance and reduce absenteeism.

Chestnut Global Partners serves companies in over 150 countries, including China, Brazil, India, Mexico and Russia. Chestnut Global Partners’ Division of Commercial Science develops and deploys scientific assessment technologies, outcome measures, and analytical methodologies so that EAPs, wellness companies, disease management entities and purchasers the world over can determine the effects and/or worth of their programs.

For more, visit http://www.chestnutglobalpartners.org.

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Charles Epstein
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