Chestnut Global Partners Publishes 2016 EAP and Wellness Trends and Analysis Report

Share Article

Chestnut Global Partners' fourth annual report cites five emergent trends and their potential impact on workplace well-being, employee assistance, and benefits in 2016.

Chestnut Global Partners

The report enables organizations to strategize around some of the findings and ‘operationalize’ them based on our analysis and best practices.

Chestnut Global Partners ( CGP), a provider of culturally-aware employee assistance and wellness programs to companies worldwide, today announced the 2016 Trends Report, which identifies the five top developments that will shape the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and Wellness industry in 2016. 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.

Top Five Trends:

1. Increasing demand for EAPservices due to occupational stress. Users of CGP’s EAP services in North America demonstrated higher levels of occupational distress in 2015. The number of EAP cases for occupational stress (job satisfaction, workload, co-worker conflict) was sixth on the list of top presenting concerns, breaking into the top seven for the first time since CGP began publishing information on EAP utilization data.

2. More companies are seeking localized EAP services to serve global workforces.As more companies become multi-national, many are looking to extend EAP services outside their “Western” based home country.In 2015, the number of inquiries CGP received for a request for proposal (RFP) for global EAP services increased by nearly 25%. The reasons for the increase were varied but seemed largely driven by 1) a desire by procurement departments to streamline administrative processes and consolidate EAP vendors, 2) ongoing mergers and acquisitions that have in part resulted in a desire to provide consistency in benefit offerings across countries, and increased awareness of service capabilities in emerging markets that previously did not provide EAP services. Yet as the number of RFPs seem to be on the increase, the information often requested by procurement, benefits, or HR departments suggests that many do not always have a clear understanding of how a Western style EAP “transfers” when set up offshore.

3. Utilization of mobile health apps (mHealth) increases; whether they drive outcomes remains largely unproven. In the past two years, the volume of commercialized mHealth applications has more than doubled to over 100,000 (IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics). But while the capability to connect so many individuals to so much information has never been greater, published research is limited as to whether these apps actually improve health outcomes. The American Heart Association (AHA) recently found that “although the number of apps continues to grow at an exponential rate, none have been critically evaluated, and their development was not evidence based, often not building on the theoretical frameworks that address behavior change.Similarly, the 2015 IMS report states that “the majority of studies published discuss app usage, not app effectiveness in terms of improving health outcomes or lowering healthcare costs.”

4. Recognition of the relationship between fatigue and workplace safety increases. Evidence now shows that insufficient sleep causes impairment in a similar manner to substance misuse. Some industries have begun to develop policies and procedures to reduce the potential health and safety consequences associated with fatigue, replicating a trend of the 1980’s following implementation of the Drug Free Workplace Act. While initial efforts have focused primarily on limiting the maximum number of hours worked per day/week or rotating shifts in a manner that allowed for sufficient rest opportunities, these efforts have been shown inadequate in part because they fail to address the behavioral, lifestyle, and medical conditions that commonly contribute to fatigue. In the last 3-4 years, the concept of an integrated Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) has begun to establish itself as the gold standard for reducing organizational risk caused by worker fatigue, and a number of industries have implemented one or more of its components.

5. Employee engagement initiatives are having limited impact. Employee engagement in the past decade has shown little improvement. According to a 2015 Gallop poll, only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged, a statistic that has remained relatively unchanged over the past 15 years. Additionally, there has been very little change in approaches to measuring and improving engagement since the initial work began nearly two decades ago. The existing organizational paradigm is still focused on moving engagement levels by changing the corporate culturedespite there being little published evidence that this works very well. The report suggests that employers will need to promote user engagement by putting tools in their hands to make them self-motivated and more proactive with respect to deepening their engagement.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response to last year’s trends report and the impact it had on the way organizations thought about and approached EAP and wellness,” said Todd Donalson, CGP’s Director of Training and Consultation, and the lead author of the report. “In addition to addressing the industry’s most dominant trends and their implications for the year ahead, the report enables organizations to strategize around some of the findings and ‘operationalize’ them based on our analysis and best practices.”

To read or download the full report, more, visit

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 140 countries, including Brazil, China, Hungary, 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

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Charles Epstein
(561) 470-0965
Email >

Dave Sharar
Follow us on
Visit website