The frequent under-utilisation of health management tools such as an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) is often the reason for discontinuing such health management services. This blog entry will highlight the importance of EAPs as a necessary, though not sufficient, condition to establish a self-sustainable health culture within an organisation.

Quick fixes

An EAP is an excellent tool for realising quick results in terms of workplace health and employee well being. Not only is an EAP relatively easy to set up and promote throughout the workforce, it also - if sufficiently backed by internal stakeholders at the managerial level - produces quick fixes in terms of timely curative solutions to potential costly individual crisis. Having said this, it is not uncommon for a company to purchase such a service because of an ad hoc crisis. The company appears to be a socially responsible employer because of the service’s visibility among the workforce, hence strengthening employees’ engagement and loyalty.

Corporate Health Care

More recently we haven see an increasing number of companies introduce health care projects. Companies set off by implementing a number health activities that seem worth while in the short run. After an initial spurt following the launch, utilisation turns out to be rather disappointing. The project remains fragmented and the lot is abandoned or reduced to an insignificant activity at best. What happened? Well intended, but without any clear framework and policy in mind, companies will fail to establish the necessary context in which this project will generate the return it promises to deliver in terms of reduced absenteeism, safety, performance and so forth.

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