As COVID-19 rages on, an increasing number the world over still find the new norm relatively challenging.
Workers in Singapore, in fact, are the unhappiest compared to those in the UK, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia. About 48% were not only unhappy but also would not recommend their companies as places to work, according to a 2021 survey by Australian payroll software firm Employment. That’s not all; 69% confided they desired better work-life balance, whether this was in the form of flexi or hybrid hours.
Many factors have led to this miserable state of affairs. On top of the concern about being exposed to the COVID-19 virus at the workplace, there’s also much uncertainty about one’s employment due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Others may find it tough having to adapt to a different work schedule/workload/workspace. Lack of social interaction, too, can fuel negative thoughts such as guilt and frustration. Oh, and all this worsens as measures are announced to tighten or loosen according to the number of cases reported in Singapore.
This growing demand for mental health support has led many companies to roll out an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Described by the Society of Human Resource Management as “a work-based intervention programme designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance”, it encompasses organising talks and workshops on mental health topics such as burnout. It also provides employees access to counselling services to seek professional support on navigating professional and personal challenges.
EAP provides emotional support for people who are experiencing personal or professional challenges that could affect their mental health and/or job performance.
EAP offers professional counselling to employees as part of staff welfare. In addition to one-on-one counselling, it also includes webinars and workshops.
Employees can expect assistance on the following areas:
These sessions are conducted by Zahira Masauood, principal counsellor at Nuffield Counselling. With more than 10 years of experience, she’s worked in multiple clinical settings from corporate clients to voluntary organisations.
At Nuffield Counselling, we understand how directly your mental and emotional well-being impacts your organisation’s success. So our counsellor is committed to helping to create a supportive work environment so you thrive both professionally and personally
By customising an EAP to suit the specific needs of a company, we can equip employees with the right tools to empower them to manage their mental health at work and at home.
Contact us to learn about other counselling services pertaining to individuals (adults or adolescents), couples and families.
EAP includes not just private counselling sessions for employees but also conducts webinars and training programmes and workshops open to employees registered under the Nuffield Counselling EAP. The webinars cover topics ranging from stress management to identifying signs of mental health conditions. These services are free of charge for employers contracted under EAP.
Nuffield Counselling offers the following EAP referrals:
Struggling with personal or professional difficulties can affect the productivity of employees. It decreases focus, creativity and motivation. EAP can help point employees towards resources and techniques so they can concentrate on their jobs. EAP counselling allows employees to identify and overcome mental health issues. By holistically caring for and supporting their employees through these challenges, companies can help improve their productivity and performance.
By availing opportunities for employees to share their concerns, EAP helps maintain their general well-being so they may be physically healthier hence less likely to go on sick leave. EAP is also a reminder to employees that they are valued by the organisation. Hence employees are less likely to resort to skipping work or turning up late.
A survey of 505 companies in 2017 by the National Council of Social Services found that for every $1 invested in workplace adjustments to support persons recovering from mental health conditions, an average return of $5.60 was generated through a reduction in absenteeism and medical claims as well as an increase in productivity.
Work environments that cause excessive stress to employees experience high turnover, which can lead to a vicious cycle. By providing support to help employees manage stress, EAP can positively influence their mood and enable them to better value-add to the company. In the long run, the greater revenue and talent pool can lead to greater growth for the company.
Nuffield Counselling takes mental health very seriously. As such, information shared during counselling sessions is kept private and confidential. Exceptions occur, however, if you show signs of causing harm to yourself or to others around you.
EAP is accessible to all employees whose companies have registered. A fee – which has been agreed upon between Nuffield Counselling and each company – is chargeable per counselling session. EAP also specifies the number of sessions each employee is eligible for.
How well EAP is used depends on the companies, which enrol employees in the programme via corporate partnerships. So it is crucial that companies make known to employees that EAP exists and its benefits, and encourage them to access the resources.
With EAP, our counsellors are bound by contract to maintain privacy and confidentiality of these counselling sessions.
No, you are unable to sue your employer for stress and anxiety. But some companies allow staff to claim for counselling sessions for work-related stress, so find out from your company HR.
No, you will not get fired for using EAP. Counselling sessions remain private and confidential – your employer is not aware that you’ve attended these sessions.
You can check with your HR if your company has registered with EAP at Nuffield Counselling.