There are dropped calls daily or people put on hold until your employees who call, give up

Some of your employees who reach out to the EAP you have contracted for them never reach a counsellor. It takes a lot of courage and resolve to make that first call. There are times that the call never gets answered. There are even more times that the employee gets put on hold and waits and waits for an answer from a call center counsellor to the point when they give up waiting, hang up and never call back.

Some or even many employees are redirected by the EAP Provider to telephonic or online counselling

Most employees who successfully access their EAP expect face-to-face counselling. Yet they are often redirected to telephonic or online counselling which may not meet their needs or satisfy their need for privacy. Most employees work in open spaces or with nearby co-workers who hear them or see their computer screens. They have no privacy and cannot speak openly about their issues. Even worse, some employees are redirected to reading and self-help material on the EAP website.

Some employees go for only one EAP session and drop out

The employees may drop out because they dislike telephonic or online counselling or they have no privacy. Other employees drop out of face-to-face counselling because the counselling offices are not convenient, the travel time too long and too far or, because there was no fit between the counsellor and your employee. For change to occur in counselling the employee must be motivated to change. If the employee does not like the counsellor, does not feel favorable about counsellor or feels that the counsellor is too junior or lacking, then the employee takes the position “why bother?” and does not return. Counsellor/client matching is one of the key ingredients of successful client improvement.

The EAP Provider may have counsellors that are too junior and are paid at the bottom of the scale to keep EAP Provider costs down

Your employees deserved the most competent and most experienced counsellors. You are paying for you employees to see counsellors trained and experienced in depth and extensively on a variety of issues not just counsellors who are handily available, close by and have an opening in their books.

The EAP Provider hires employees who do not appreciate the work milieu and does not educate their counsellors about your work milieu in particular

Some counsellors can discretely, and some even assertively provide counselling and advocate for your employee against you, the employer. Further, they do not understand or they are not trained about your work dynamics and work expectations. You may have a culture of team work; or a culture of dedication and loyalty; or a culture of hard, focussed work with perfection. If your EAP counsellors do not understand or appreciate your uniqueness or work milieu then your employees are counselled in isolation from your work milieu and the counsellors may inadvertently work against you.

The EAP Provider delivers a large number of one, two and three sessions

Do not settle for a low number of sessions such as a large number of one, two or three sessions. The EAP Provider may tell you that your employees are using the service but research in counselling demonstrates that a minimum of eight sessions is required to make a lasting difference “for the better” in helping people who are troubled by emotional difficulties. Otherwise, counselling is just a short-term and temporary “band-aid”. Many few sessions per employee does not help you, the employer, who is dedicated to helping your employees obtain lasting treatment for their personal problems nor does it decrease your psychotropic drug costs and disability costs as an effective EAP should demonstrate.

The EAP Provider has a large referred-out rate

Every referred out case costs the EAP Provider less and yet is billed to you at a full user rate. Was a referral out necessary and warranted? Was not the EAP counsellor qualified and trained to handle the presenting problems and why not?

The EAP Provider has a low follow-up rate.

Every employee who accesses the EAP, whether they are seen by the EAP counsellor or are referred out needs to be followed-up to ensure successful problem resolution and if problem resolution has not occurred the employee needs to be seen again, and not counted as a user and at no additional cost to the Company.

The EAP Provider cost is not transparent

The EAP Provider opens a new user case for each different issue that the employee reports on their first session and the EAP Provider and charges you as if there were different and multiple users. The employee re-accesses the EAP service within the year for the same problem issue that was unresolved with the first series of accesses and it is also written up as a new case and charged to you as a new user. The EAP Provider pays differently for different services they offer to your employee yet they charge you the same user per case rate.

Your company has an obligation to get at this information. Further, your Company has the right to hire an independent third-party professional to verify this information and to spell out remedies for your Company and the EAP Provider. Of course, you want your employees who need counselling with their personal problems to get their problems addressed to full and staying resolution, but ultimately, you want your psychotropic drug costs AND disability costs decreased.