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Six Things Employees Don’t Know About Employee Assistance Programs

If most employees have no clue about the benefits you offer them, you are not alone in the universe. Almost every large organization providing multiple benefits feels the same way.

A guaranteed laugh line in a Quizzify presentation is: “Let me guess. Your employees don’t understand their benefits."

It’s not just that your investment is wasted. Employees also suffer stress, disengagement, burnout and turnover that could possibly be alleviated if they understood the support system you provide via these benefits.

But with so many benefits, confusion and forgetfulness are easy. For instance, here is one company’s range of benefits, explained.

You might say, “Wow, that’s confusing. They should straighten that out with a new display.” Well, that is the new display. That display was presented as the “after” picture in a conference session on simplifying benefits communication. No wonder employees miss out on benefits.

As a result of benefits overload, employees tune out and you don’t connect with your audience.

Take Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), for starters. Many employees have no idea they exist. Indeed, in the postmillennial version of the old adage that “the cobbler’s children go unshod,” it turns out that the wife of our very own Quizmeister-in-Chief had no idea that her employer even offered an EAP at all, let alone one that covered one of the exact services the Quizmeister family could have used fairly recently.

And that’s a good place to start this month’s “Six Things Employees Don’t Know” column. (To read last month’s on sugar, click here.)


1. Employees don’t know what an EAP is.

Quizzify wades into this subject by simply asking employees if they know what EAP stands for. This question is also impossible to miss, and yet 5% of employees do.


2. Employees don’t understand that EAPs are confidential.

You are allowed, by law, to read employee emails on company servers. Those are not private. Hence employees may be excused for thinking that you would also be allowed to know whether they are having mental health issues pressing enough to seek professional help.

It’s no wonder, then, that they pass on EAPs. While the majority of employees like to keep their healthcare information private, virtually every employee wants to keep mental health information private. Hence asking questions to reinforce the confidentiality of EAPS is included in all Quizzify quizzes about EAPs.


3. Employees don’t know how to access the EAP.

It’s rare that a monthly Quizzify quiz covers something that an employee happens to need right that very minute. As a result, it’s a good idea to encourage employees to save the EAP access information into their phone now, so it will be there when they need it. In this question below, the answer explanation includes the recommendation to enter the information right that moment.


4. Employees forget about this benefit nonetheless.

It’s a good idea to “sprinkle” questions about EAPs (and other benefits) in quizzes through the year, both to remind employees and also to expand employee understanding of the many services that EAPs cover. The days when EAPs were only about mental health counseling are largely behind us, which brings us to…


5. Employees don't realize their whole family can benefit.

Even employees who know that EAPs exist, and enter the phone number into the system, may not know the programs are generally open to spouses and domestic partners as well.

Or that family counseling is almost always part of these programs.


6. Few employees could name any of the additional resources available from EAPs.

Several Quizzify questions cover these other resources, including assistance in getting help in caring for an elderly parent. (This is the service that Mr. and Mrs. Quizmeister could have used, saving themselves a great deal of sleuthing on their own.)


Benefits are of no value if employees don’t use them. You can customize Quizzify so that your quiz questions can explain exactly what the value is...and our “learn more” links can point employees exactly where they need to go. Contact us to learn more.


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