What to look for in an EAP provider
Drake WorkWise Team
The Employee Assistance Program services are a $276.8m market in Australia. This year alone, the industry has grown 4.1% and 3.3% in the last 5 years - a rate faster than that of the economy (ABS, 2021). There are 265 players in the Australian market led by Benestar, Reventure, International APM group, and Lifeworks.com.
According to Ibis World, the industry is defined as ‘Firms involved in the industry provide wellbeing services to employees. These services are generally aimed at the early identification and resolution of work and personal problems that affect professional performance. Industry activities include counselling and assistance services pertaining to workplace, personal and family issues, as well as group training and corporate assistance services.
With a significant spike in the number of people under stress, living in isolation, working remotely, or subject to major changes in life circumstances, so too are more people seeking help from EAP providers. In response to the ever changing climate, most EAP providers have made services available remotely, via phone or online video conference services. In addition, extra resources are available via social networks, groups, blogs, and podcasts, for workers to access at their discretion.
For those organisations that do not have an EAP provider at present, the market research process can be somewhat daunting and overwhelming. Like many industries, there is a wealth of information available through online channels. So much so, it is often difficult to make a decision as to which provider is the best fit for your organisation.
If you’re currently looking to appoint an EAP provider, these tips below should help you to gather the information you need in order to make the right decision.
- Evaluation of company and employee needs - before you start researching providers, it is important to understand what are your needs as an organisation. You could speak to your employees and dive deep into where their true needs and shortcomings lie. You may also look into existing programs and subsequent uptake levels.
- Costs - determine available budget to allocate to health and wellbeing. It is important to be sure that the chosen provider's costs align with your financial capabilities.
- Services - once you have evaluated your company and employee needs, you should know more or less what services you require at a minimum. Ensure that your chosen provider offers these services.
- Utilisation rate - it is one thing to have an EAP provider on the books, yet it is another to ensure adequate uptake of available services. Be sure to ask for case studies on existing clients, uptake levels, or speak to an existing customer for first-hand insights.
- Coverage - do you require local or national coverage? It is important that your chosen provider offers you access to clinicians within proximity to your workforce.
- Service delivery - ensure that services can be delivered through channels that work for your organisation whether by phone, online, or in person. You should also be sure that your chosen provider offers 24/7 access to support.
Despite the EAP market being dominated by four key players, your organisation may be better suited to a smaller, boutique service provider. There are fundamental differences between EAP providers in the Australian market and it is important to do your homework in order to find the right fit for your organisation.
Drake WorkWise is a boutique service provider where every client is treated as a member, not a number. Contact the Drake WorkWise team to discuss whether our business model and service offering is a fit for your organisation.
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