Workplace Support

What Are the Advantages of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)?

Discover the advantages of investing in employee assistance for better workplace mental health and well-being strategies.

A photo of Inkblot blog author Sanskriti Ravi smiling.
Sanskriti Ravi
May 17, 2023
minute read
A group of colleagues happily sit together at a large table in an office.
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).

The success of your business depends on the health of your people. Happy, healthy and motivated employees are essential to creating a positive work environment. However, human resource professionals understand that personal challenges will eventually influence the work performance of even the most dedicated employees, resulting in absenteeism, low employee retention, high disability costs and more. Many organizations provide employee assistance programs (EAP) to support employees with the resources to deal with life challenges and live better. To put it simply, investing in an EAP is good business. 

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

An employee assistance program (EAP), also known as an employee and family assistance program (EFAP), is an employee benefits program funded by an employer to support the well-being of employees and their dependents. 

According to a 2021 Statistics Canada survey, one-quarter of Canadians experience high-stress levels and find most days quite a bit or extremely stressful — with higher levels in women, 2SLGBTQ+, and those living with children. While these trends are alarming, investment into the right EAP has been proven to provide the care employees need to continue to put their best foot forward at work and beyond. While each EAP program can range in the services offered, the aim is to provide employees with counselling, healthcare and other services. Hence, they are better equipped to address life's challenges, prevent workpalce burnout and maintain their work performance. 

Learn more: What is an employee assistance program (EAP)? 

What are the benefits of an EAP?

A survey by Mercer revealed that in Canada, more than a third of disability claims in 2022 were due to mental health, making declining well-being a significant risk factor for organizations. However, utilizing an effective EAP service can result in the early identification and management of declining emotional and physical health and encourages employees to prioritize their well-being. This will help organizations create more positive work environments and support companies in attracting and retaining top talent.

7 advantages of investing in an employee assistance program 

The Inkblot EAP provides access to comprehensive well-being support, including individual counselling, couples counselling, and coaching services. Clinically designed with the demands of a modern workplace, our EAP is optimized to help your employees navigate all areas of life. 

1. Digital-first approach

Our digital-first EAP provides employees with personalized support on an intuitive online platform. While traditional employee assistance programs involve weeks-long wait times for employees seeking immediate support, the Inkblot EAP virtual offering allows us to provide support within 24-72 hours. This also allows employees to work with therapists outside of their geographic location, providing access to a more diverse selection of counsellors. Inkblot also offers in-person counselling options, which ensures that all employees can get convenient, confidential and secure care that fits their schedule and preferences, resulting in higher engagement and utilization than traditional EAPs.  

2. Personalized therapist matching

Finding the right practitioner to address your unique mental health concerns can be difficult. However, a significant factor influencing whether a client will achieve successful health outcomes through therapy is whether their practitioner is a good therapeutic fit. The Inkblot EAP personalized matching questionnaire will help employees get matched with their ideal therapist based on their unique mental health concerns and requirements. With over 50 therapist matching options, employees can get support in their preferred language, availability, therapeutic approach and more. 

3. Continuity of care

While traditional EAPs offer short-term care that often cuts corners, the Inkblot EAP prioritizes the long-term impact our services can have by providing seamless continuity of care. This ensures that employees can get the help they need once sponsored hours have been utilized, with the ability to continue booking sessions with their preferred practitioner. After an employee has completed the use of hours offered through their benefits, any additional cost for sessions can be reimbursable through the employee’s paramedical benefit coverage, health spending account (HSA), or paid privately.


4. Customizable programs and services

Mental health programs can't be one-size-fits-all. That's why we built our programs to help optimize your team's well-being over and above individual and couples counselling with access to clinical services and other health and wellness programming. The Inkblot EAP empowers your employees to tackle life's challenges with resilience, including navigating anxiety, depression, caretaking, eldercare, parenting, nutrition, substance abuse, financial and legal challenges, and more. 

Our host of supplementary services allows you to expand your mental health strategy on-demand or to address acute health crises as they emerge in the workplace. Some of our additional program offerings include specialized clinical services, support for traumatic events, stress management, topical webinars, substance use and addictions support, internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT), and more. Inkblot is prepared to support you with effective, accessible, and timely resources to meet the well-being demands of your workforce.

5. Simplified onboarding process

Our simplified onboarding process ensures that your EAP integration is quick and stress-free. We understand that utilization is key to the success of any EAP, and our account management team is here to support your organization every step of the way. We provide promotional materials and training to educate your employees on our various services, explain how to access each service, and reduce the stigma around getting help. Employees can access our customer support team via live chat, call or email to help them with questions and concerns.  

6. Meaningful insights and reporting

Whether HR professionals and leaders are looking to monitor the success of their organization's EAP, understand company utilization rates or gauge employee satisfaction, our in-depth reporting provides meaningful insights into employee well-being. These insights can help inform your company's ongoing mental health strategy by indicating any emerging mental health concerns, well-being trends within the workforce, and stressors employees face. 

7. Attract and retain engaged employees 

It is no secret that your employees' physical and emotional health profoundly impacts their job performance, motivation and, ultimately, the strength of your organization. EAP benefits improve your company's bottom line by increasing employee retention and lowering disability costs. Employees benefit individually from prioritizing their well-being. However, company-wide utilization of an EAP can create transformational changes in work environments, leading to greater job satisfaction and attracting top talent to your organization.    

Learn more: How To Implement An EAP In The Modern Workplace

How effective are EAP programs? 

The reality is that most access to healthcare is limited and complex. Employer-provided counselling services and well-being programs provide better accessibility and options for everyone. Below are some of the many ways our clients have succeeded in investing in an effective mental health and wellness strategy using Inkblot. 

  • 25% clinical improvement. Some clients begin to feel better in just three sessions.
  • 84% embrace digital options. Many of our clients find virtual therapy as effective as in-person therapy.
  • 95% partner retention rate. Employers recognize that a commitment to mental health is a commitment to their employees.
  • 90% client satisfaction rate. Reports show a high level of satisfaction based on a validated measure designed to assess key dimensions of effective therapeutic relationships. 
  • 2x the average engagement rate. Our clients have reported better employee engagement with the Inkblot EAP versus traditional EAP providers. 

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

An EAP to build resilience and ensure long-term success

Recent workplace trends indicate that more and more employees are demanding better support for mental health from their employers, making it necessary for retention and recruitment. With its host of proven benefits and the emergence of more balanced employee-employer relationships, investing in an EAP has become an obvious answer to many of the challenges employers face in today’s job market. Along with standard health insurance, the right employee assistance program can be a cost-effective way to improve company culture, ensure employees have the tools necessary to build resilience, attract new talent, reduce disability costs, engage in workplace mental health leadership, and more. 

Book a demo and take the first step towards improving the well-being of your workforce.