Completing the Business Case for EAPs: Research on EAP Organizational Services Shows They Save Money and Create Opportunities to Participate in Management Initiatives and Strategic Planning

By Attridge, Mark; Amaral, Tom et al. | The Journal of Employee Assistance, August 2003 | Go to article overview

Completing the Business Case for EAPs: Research on EAP Organizational Services Shows They Save Money and Create Opportunities to Participate in Management Initiatives and Strategic Planning


Attridge, Mark, Amaral, Tom, Hyde, Mark, The Journal of Employee Assistance


Organizational services have long been a key part of employee assistance programs, yet they have often been overshadowed by a greater emphasis on clinical assessment and referral services for the individual employee. The time is now ripe for the EA field to rediscover the significant role that organizational services play in establishing the unique value of EAPs.

We argue that organizational services are an untapped resource for making the business case for EAPs. In this article, we offer a general conceptual model of the business case for EAPs, focus on the role of organizational services in this model, and review the available research evidence that supports the model. We also present a case study of how organizational services have positioned one EAP as critical to the success of the organization it serves.

WHY MAKE A BUSINESS CASE?

It is important for EAP providers to measure and report on their services and state how they contribute to the business goals and objectives of the program purchaser/sponsor. Whether the EAP is an internal program that needs to defend its budget or an external program that must show it returns more in savings than its services cost, it must speak the language of business and demonstrate that it delivers value and is worth the cost to the organization. This is especially true in today's slumping economy, when companies are even more prone to question if they are receiving a positive return on their investment in an EAP.

In a previous article, a general conceptual model was described that defined the business case for EAPs as having five levels of value (Attridge 2001). According to this model, EAPs should strive to document their value to the company through client-specific activity that (1) establishes the need for EAP services, (2) profiles the use of the EAP, (3) measures the outcomes from users of the program, (4) translates these outcomes into business dollar value, and (5) connects the EAP to the "big picture" of the organization's interest in managing risk and creating a healthy workforce.

More recently, this model has been extended to specify the major kinds of outcomes from EAP services (Attridge 2002). This approach groups business value into three major kinds of outcomes (Figure 1). The first outcomes area is health claims, the second is human capital, and the third is organizational.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

EAPs can help reduce overall medical health care claims, workers' compensation, and disability costs through the proper assessment and referral of high-risk employees to effective behavioral health and substance abuse programs. In the human capital area of costs, EAPs can help improve employee performance through reduced absenteeism, greater productivity, fewer accidents, and less turnover among troubled employees. These kinds of "hard dollar" savings in claims and human capital costs have been demonstrated in numerous studies (Attridge 2003; Blum and Roman 1995).

However, not all EAP activity is equally effective at producing claims and workplace cost savings; rather, the services that comprise the EAP Core Technology yield the most impact per EAP case (Attridge and Amaral 2002). For example, employees with mental health or substance abuse problems tend to have greater levels of work impairment and thus present greater opportunities for clinical improvement and the associated higher-level outcomes than do EAP clients with less severe clinical issues or those with educational or informational needs.

Both the claims and human capital outcome areas are derived largely from employees who use the EAP on an individual basis. In contrast, organizational outcomes, the third element of the value triad, derive most of their value from use of the program at the group level and from managerial consultation and risk management/prevention activities. We have identified four types of organizational services commonly provided by EAPs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Completing the Business Case for EAPs: Research on EAP Organizational Services Shows They Save Money and Create Opportunities to Participate in Management Initiatives and Strategic Planning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.