Several studies have established the benefits of Employee Assistance Programmes to employees. A recent study by an EAP provider with a sample of almost 60,000 clients over a three-year period showed a substantial reduction in the number of employees who reported difficulties performing their work duties due to mental and physical health concerns, or work and social relationships, after an EAP was implemented at their workplace (Selvik, Stephenson, Plaza, & Sugden, 2004).
In this study, as many as 28% fewer employees reported work difficulties due to mental health concerns. Additionally, absenteeism decreased from an average of 2.37 days to 0.91 day after the implementation of an EAP at the workplace. Findings also revealed that employee ratings of job difficulties due to emotional problems, physical health concerns, work and social relationship issues, and general health status, significantly improved after an EAP was implemented at the workplace.
Others have found that EAPs reduce stress levels among employees. A study of 600 Taiwanese employees working in a high-tech industry by Yu, Lin, and Hsu (2009) also reported that for employees experiencing many stressors, an effective EAP was associated with lower levels of stress. Given that exposure to job stress has been associated with immune system dysfunction (Nakata, 2012), as well as with minor illnesses and absenteeism (Woo, Yap, Oh, & Long, 1999), the importance of helping employees stay healthy cannot be overlooked.
EAP benefits in the area of mental wellness, especially for employees experiencing a high level of stress, make a particularly strong case for implementing EAPs at the workplace.