Workplace Support

How To Implement An EAP In The Modern Workplace

Uncover the main steps to an effective EAP implementation plan and how to promote health services to encourage employee engagement.

A photo of Inkblot blog author Sanskriti Ravi smiling.
Sanskriti Ravi
May 17, 2023
minute read
Three co-workers have a positive discussion at a table with work supplies scattered across it.
A photo of Inkblot blog author Sanskriti Ravi smiling.
Sanskriti Ravi
Sanskriti Ravi is a Content Marketer at Inkblot with a keen interest in making mental health services more accessible to underserved communities and breaking down the stigma surrounding getting help. When she is not writing, she loves listening to live music, attending a yoga class, and discovering new ways to expand her wellness practice.
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Disclaimer: This article contains guidelines or advice not intended to self-diagnose or treat. No content should be used as a substitute for direct advice from a qualified professional such as your doctor or mental health professional. Please reach out for support from a certified professional related to the symptoms you may be experiencing.

If you are in crisis and require immediate support, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Alternately, please contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7). For residents of Québec, call 1 866 APPELLE (1 866 277-3553).

Modern leaders understand that the strength of their organization depends on the health of their people. However, a 2021 study conducted by Mental Health Research Canada found that 35 per cent of all employed Canadians report experiencing burnout. More than ever, HR leaders are looking to invest in employee assistance programs (EAP) to manage emerging mental health trends better and improve their workforce's productivity. Whether you have recently invested in a wellness program or want to understand how implementation works, we summarize this article's main steps to an effective EAP implementation plan. 

What is an employee assistance program, and why is it important?

An EAP is a benefits program funded by employers to provide employees with resources to manage emerging well-being concerns better. Often resulting in the prevention of declining emotional and physical health, EAPs have become an obvious choice for HR professionals looking to safeguard retention, reduce absenteeism and improve their company's bottom line. While each EAP program varies, the best-in-class EAPs provide full spectrum services, including counselling, healthcare and other supplementary services that address every aspect of your team's total well-being. 

Learn more: What issues can be addressed with an employee assistance program? 

What are the benefits of an EAP?

The reality is that work-life separation is rare. At some point, even the most dedicated employees will likely experience personal problems that affect how they show up at work. Proactive organizations understand that investment into an EAP signals your organization's commitment to employee health while creating positive changes to company culture.

The following are some of the most significant EAP benefits:

  • Improved work performance and motivation
  • Higher retention rates
  • More engaged and healthy employees
  • Lower absenteeism 
  • Lower disability costs
  • Better ability to attract top talent

Learn more: What are the advantages of employee assistance programs (EAP)?

How technology improves modern EAP solutions

The reality is that not all wellness programs are created equal. Most traditional EAPs use outdated methods and only offer in-person options, making accessing care a clumsy and frustrating experience. Instead, modern EAPs use technology to provide online access to comprehensive services through a mobile app or website. Online support allows employees to access care on the go, making it easier to seek help without taking time off work or travelling to a physical location. By prioritizing ease of use, customer support and personalization, EAPs with virtual options encourage higher utilization by placing the right care at an employee's fingertips. 

The Inkblot EAP offers digital-first support to ensure all employees can access convenient, confidential and secure care that fits their schedule. Optimized to help employees navigate all areas of life, we offer counselling and a host of supplementary services on an intuitive online platform. 

Here are six advantages of Inkblot’s technology-driven employee assistance program:

  • We take a digital-first approach that ensures employees have access to a broader network of practitioners and can get the support they need within 24-72 hours. 
  • Our personalized therapist-matching questionnaire helps employees find the best therapeutic match based on clinical expertise, cultural fit, language, availability and more.
  • We offer seamless continuity of care to provide employees with access to support even after benefits max-out and sponsored hours are utilized. 
  • Our customizable services allow organizations to scale their EAP up or down to meet the unique demands of their workforce and optimize their team's whole health.
  • Our simplified onboarding makes EAP implementation quick, easy, and stress-free.
  • We provide meaningful insights and reporting, allowing HR leaders to understand key metrics and continue to build their mental health strategy. 


The 4 steps to implementing an EAP

While internal communication of a wellness program is important, good EAP providers play a key role in implementing, onboarding and promoting their programs and services. Below we provide the main steps to look for in an effective implementation plan to ensure your wellness program is up and running quickly. 

1. Start with an implementation strategy 

Work with your EAP provider to determine the tools and resources you need to support a seamless EAP implementation for your employees. Whether you require onboarding assistance, information sessions, or promotional materials, Inkblot is here to help your organization every step of the way. When implementing the Inkblot EAP, partner with your account manager to guide your implementation plan and secure all the resources and assets required to assist internal communications. 

2. Introduce employee onboarding

Simplified and fast onboarding is an effective way to get employees to start using the services available to them. Inkblot helps your team navigate our user-friendly platform with easy-to-use onboarding materials that guide employees. It's simple. Employees access Inkblot from their email or our website and enter the organization code, complete the matching questionnaire, and start their well-being journey with a push of a button. Additionally, the Inkblot EAP provides HR/leadership training to ensure executives have the right tools to encourage engagement and address employees' questions. 

3. Provide open communication and support 

The best way to ensure your employees know about your EAP program is to communicate frequently about the services available. Our hands-on account management team aims to take the pressure off HR professionals by communicating directly with employees through monthly newsletters, onboarding information sessions and promotional materials. We also seek to support employees throughout their mental health journey with our Wellness Hub. This resource centre provides expert-driven health and well-being articles on various topics. Lastly, our customer support team is available via email, call or live chat to help employees on-demand.

4. Add supplementary services as needed

High-quality EAPs understand that mental health is never one-size-fits-all. Whether you want to address an acute health crisis or further build your mental health strategy, our EAP solution offers a host of supplementary services to provide your workforce with more support at a moment's notice. Some of our additional program offerings include webinars covering a range of topics from career to health, specialized clinical services, support for traumatic events, substance use and addictions support, stress management, internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT), chronic disease management, and more. Encourage employees to ask for additional services and partner with your account manager to secure the right services to meet new demands. 

Learn more: What is the future of employee assistance programs (EAPs)?

Choose an EAP built for organizations of all sizes 

Increasingly, workplaces are looking to EAPs to protect their retention rates, prioritize employee health and improve work performance. However, the variation between EAP providers can be challenging for HR leaders to navigate. The best wellness programs play a crucial role in the implementation process and the tools in this article will help you evaluate your provider's implementation plan. EAP providers should play a key role in promotion, provide guidance and support, and work collaboratively with HR leaders to integrate additional services on an as-needed basis. 

The Inkblot EAP is optimized to service all the emerging needs of a modern workforce. Our 360-degree care options across the health spectrum ensure we have the right program to help every member of your workforce feel their best. To learn more about our employee assistance program and other services, book a demo today.