Much of the automotive, roads, and fuel industry has been deemed “essential” in 2020. Many of these essential workers have experienced high levels of stress and uncertainty, as well as put their health at risk by going to work.
Much of the world in crisis as a result of COVID, regardless of age, occupation, or any other factor. The employees who work on the front lines as essential workers have the extra burden of the risk of being exposed to the virus themselves, which creates stress that far exceeds the experience of most of us. Stress is a result of fear and uncertainty.
Because they are experiencing increased risks daily, it is all the more important for essential workers to be mindful of a healthy work-life balance. It is also important for employers of essential workers to support a good work-life balance of their employees — encouraging self-care, providing a supportive work environment that allows for breaks when employees feel overwhelmed, and showing recognition for the essential workers who risk their lives by performing their jobs. Good self-care for essential workers includes making sure you are being healthy, getting enough rest, and getting exercise, and having a good home/work balance.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can give your employees a way to cope with personal issues that can have a negative impact on their job performance, such as work-related stress, addiction, or problems outside of the workplace.
Your employees will likely appreciate the fact that they have a resource they can use to discuss sensitive issues in complete confidence. With an EAP, the employer is not notified when an employee uses the service, so he doesn’t have to worry about endangering his job status or a potential “black mark” that could hinder his career.
Employees typically have access to an EAP hotline 24 hours a day, so there is no need to wait to seek assistance. If an appointment with a medical professional or counselor is necessary, the employee can arrange to see one in just a few days. Because the employee can call anytime, she does not have to worry about calling from a work phone.
Work stress can build up over a period of time and can possibly lead to conflict with other employees or even escalate into a violent situation. With the EAP, the employee can seek help during the early stages of a problem, which can prevent it from turning into something more serious.
An EAP can also help employees deal with issues outside of the workplace that can impact job performance. Many people deal with issues, including substance abuse, depression, marital strife, and grief over the loss of a loved one. An EAP provides an outlet to help them resolve these issues, or at least learn to cope with them so they won’t impact job performance.
As the employer, an EAP can also provide benefits to you. Because employees have access to a resource that can remedy a potentially debilitating problem, it can reduce absenteeism or even turnover. As a result, you’ll have a happier, more productive workplace. You may also be able to minimize the cost of your health insurance plan, because employees can use the EAP to ward off stress-related illnesses, meaning fewer trips to the doctor.
NARFA offers an excellent EAP program to members. To learn more about this program and other great benefits to our members, please contact us today to learn more about our programs, and how we continue to do more and more for our members.