Career and Workplace

Are You Utilising Your Employee Assistance Programme?

In a global study conducted by Oracle, 76% of workers believe their company should be doing more to protect their mental health. 

Covid-19 created a climate that exacerbated the rate at which employees are getting burnt out, exhausted and overworked. With remote working becoming the norm to comply with social distancing measures, employees are finding it difficult to set healthy boundaries between home and work. Many are unable to “turn off” as they work longer hours each week.

Data collated from Naluri’s member base reveals a 256% increase in the number of people who joined the digital therapeutics program to seek mental health support since the first Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO) in March last year. At the same time, the number of members who reached out to psychologists in their care teams increased by 150% after the first MCO.

Overall, news of wage cuts and downsizing have people feeling more pressure to deliver, out of fear of losing their jobs. This increased pressure does not come without repercussions. In a global survey, 67% of respondents reported experiencing higher levels of stress since the outbreak of Covid-19.

To address this growing concern, companies have turned to structured Employee Assistance Programmes to aid their employees in navigating this new environment and provide them with resources that can help them manage their stress and well-being. The outbreak of Covid-19 in a sense has turned EAPs into something of ‘a new normal’. And their benefits are great enough that they’ll be here to stay, even after Covid-19 is over.

Why EAPs are here to stay

The 2020 Annual Report for the Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS) measured the effectiveness of EAP counselling on employee performance. The report found significant improvements in five outcomes, i.e., work presenteeism, work engagement, workplace distress, work absenteeism and overall life satisfaction.

An EAP is also a way to signal to employees that the company genuinely cares for their well-being. When employees feel cared for by their company, not only will they be more loyal to the company, but they will also work harder to achieve favourable results. A study conducted by Harvard researchers revealed that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.

Not all EAPs are equal

Whether it is self-learning resources on how to better manage stress, a mindfulness program, or allotted counselling sessions, companies need to keep in mind what suits the needs of their employees best. EAPs such as Naluri offer customisable solutions that cover a full spectrum of support, from preventative to severe and allow employers to offer their employees a personalised solution that matches the individual’s health goals. 

Now employees can refer to EAP resources and tools to not only address problems related to work, but even ones on a more personal level; matters such as financial advice, crisis management, or even parenting advice for working parents. When employees are able to take charge of their lives for the better, their happiness and quality of life will increase, eventually having a spillover effect on their productivity in the workplace

EAPs now are also more accessible. For instance, Naluri is available digitally through its mobile app, allowing users to access resources and materials for their well-being at their own convenience. This also makes it easier for employers to scale the EAP to their entire workforce, regardless of whether their employees opt to work at home or in centralised offices. 

Some EAPs are more activity-based, focusing on tracking the activities of members, through applications such as step trackers or calorie counters. Naluri on the other hand focuses on the end result, relying on clinically significant outcomes to measure the progress of its members and track their improvements. For instance, a reduction in blood sugar levels for members managing their diabetes or an improvement in blood pressure levels for members at risk of heart disease, measured through Naluri’s in-app digital health monitor.

As a digital healthcare provider, Naluri makes it easier for companies to scale to teams working in centralised offices, at home, and in hybrid work modes and provides convenient, outcome-focused healthcare for employees.

Naluri is dedicated to helping you invest in your workforce for a happier and better-performing company. Reach out to us at hello@naluri.life for more information.