Lincoln Absence Advisor

Benefits of Employee Assistance Programs During a Pandemic

April 15, 2020 Lincoln Financial Group Season 1 Episode 6
Lincoln Absence Advisor
Benefits of Employee Assistance Programs During a Pandemic
Chapters
Lincoln Absence Advisor
Benefits of Employee Assistance Programs During a Pandemic
Apr 15, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Lincoln Financial Group

So much has changed so quickly, in almost every aspect of our lives. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can be a valuable resource for employees and their families, offering easy remote access to legal, financial and personal guidance from experienced professionals. In this episode of Lincoln Absence Advisor, David Campbell, Senior Vice President of Quality Control for ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of EAPs, explores how these programs are designed to help people adjust to and balance their current work and life challenges. He shows how employers can use EAPs as a way to reach out to newly remote employees and help them access the assistance they may need.

Lincoln offers ComPsych’s program to employers with our LTD product. Check with your provider on your EAP program to find out details of your offering..

LCN-3038910-041320

© 2020 Lincoln National Corporation. All rights reserved.

Show Notes Transcript

So much has changed so quickly, in almost every aspect of our lives. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can be a valuable resource for employees and their families, offering easy remote access to legal, financial and personal guidance from experienced professionals. In this episode of Lincoln Absence Advisor, David Campbell, Senior Vice President of Quality Control for ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of EAPs, explores how these programs are designed to help people adjust to and balance their current work and life challenges. He shows how employers can use EAPs as a way to reach out to newly remote employees and help them access the assistance they may need.

Lincoln offers ComPsych’s program to employers with our LTD product. Check with your provider on your EAP program to find out details of your offering..

LCN-3038910-041320

© 2020 Lincoln National Corporation. All rights reserved.

Chris Takesian:

Hi listeners. My name is Chris Takesian, Marketing Manager for leave and disability at Lincoln Financial. Over the past few months, employers across the country. I've implemented new practices to keep their employees safe. As a result of the evolving COVID-19 situation, many employers have moved their employees to work remotely, which can bring some challenges. This is where employee assistance programs otherwise known as EAPs come into play. To talk more about the benefits of EAP's, we're joined by David Campbell. David is a licensed clinical social worker and is the Senior Vice President of quality control for ComPsych. ComPsych is the world's largest provider of employee assistance programs servicing more than 50,000 organizations throughout the United States. So David, thank you for joining me today.

David Campbell:

Oh, you're welcome.

Chris Takesian:

So at the end of last year, we were having conversations internally about how fantastic EAPs were and how they're a great resource for both employees and employers. Could you talk a little bit about the benefits of having an EAP program, especially given the current environment we're in?

David Campbell:

Well I think at times like this we really do shine. And not to toot our own horn, but I think EAP's really in times like this, you know, we see hurricanes, other natural disasters, but nothing of this magnitude, but it's, you know, our availability. I mean, we're one of the few programs that an employer offers that is available to all employees regardless if they sign up for a health plan or they sign up for any type of, any other type of benefit where something that's available to them. Also all their family members, anybody who lives in the household. So now with this whole sheltering in place, um, they're already going through and people who are living with each other, we're available to everyone in that household, a matter if they're a dependent, spouse, mother-in-law could be living there. So it all plays a good part in that.

David Campbell:

It's all clinical. All our people that are answering their phone are clinical people, social workers, masters in psychology, some psychologist. So we're all clinical. So we're able to be there for the client when they call and help them deal with the anxiety and emotions. We're experienced in managing these types of situations because we do it every day. Uh, it may not be to this magnitude, but it's something that, you know, we deal with and we work with every day as far as people in crisis and people in need. So I think that also brings it to help them. And then, I mean, EAPs in general have, you know, resources to all types of information to help people deal with this. And I think it's a, a one stop shop, you know? And for most of the EAP's like ourselves, you know, it's just not counseling, it's financial information, it's legal information, you know, especially in these times with people losing their jobs. Maybe one of the spouses are working, but the other one lost their job. So how do we readjust their lives and how do we set a budget for that and how do we kind of reduce some of the day to day anxiety that they're having at this time? And I think an EAP really does kind of have that broad approach to dealing with people holistically.

Chris Takesian:

Yeah. That, that's fantastic. So you, you touched on working remotely, which has I think, top of mind for, for all of us right now, uh, as most of us are home. So if somebody is working remote, how are these benefits accessed? Is this something that can be easily accessed over a computer or over the phone?

David Campbell:

Multiple ways. We actually have people allowing people to call us that old fashioned method of picking up the phone and actually dial in a number, which some people have forgotten that that's that little thing is that they carry in their pocket. But to be all serious, about 85% of the people access using the phone. They call us.

Chris Takesian:

Oh, that's interesting.

David Campbell:

But our services and most of the EAP's are accessible. Now we have a website that people can go to and on that website they can email us a question and talk to one of our experts through an email exchange. We also have a chat function on that website so people can actually chat with one of our experts if they want. We call them experts, we're talking about clinical, legal, financial, you know, all of those where we call the experts inside our house. So there's three different methods and while they're at the website, they can listen to training sessions, they can read articles, they can do assessments. So, um, we try to get people have access to the EAP in multiple ways because for us, remote isn't a new thing. It may be a new thing for many people out there, but we deal with, you know, hundreds of customers and these customers have, a lot of these customers have gone remote way before this event occurred. So we had to be able to deal with people working remotely.

Chris Takesian:

Absolutely. And I think that serves as a, as a good segue as to, um, from your standpoint, maybe there are some tips or tricks how switching to the employer side, how can employers make sure that they're staying connected with employees, um, to point them in the direction of an EAP, uh, if they sense that something's wrong or just, just to get that out there. Um, are there any tips that you would have for them?

David Campbell:

Well, it's something that I talked to employers all the time about. It's, it's communicate, communicate and then communicate more.

Chris Takesian:

Yup.

David Campbell:

You can't communicate enough about our program because we're not the health insurance card that everybody carries in their pocket and knows off the tip of their tongue. What health plan they're covered under a, it's one of those programs. And you know, we've always approached the EAP as something that is a, we see it in a life event. Anytime we have a life event, we try to have somebody communicate that. So what we're having some employers do now that they're having people remote, uh, for the first time. So they're communicating that and we're giving them information that they can put up on their website, push out through email, a little tips, little vignettes, little videos that they could watch and reminding them also of the work life areas, the childcare, the elder care, moving, getting supplies, getting services legal.

David Campbell:

Because people are more apt to talk about that type of information and talk about that type of service amongst their coworkers. Because instead of saying, I'm so depressed, I'm gonna call the EAP, they can talk to their coworker and say, you know, I talked to the, I talked to the EAP and they helped me set up a budget and my wife was laid off. But now we kind of feel a little bit more relaxed because we know what the future is holding and we know how we can survive on the money and the income we're getting, they're more apt to talk about that to coworkers or we're trying to really push that. So the word gets out. And the second part, which I think is harder, and I'm not sure if you guys are experienced it, but you know, managers and supervisors typically have been in the, in the vicinity of their coworkers.

David Campbell:

They were, they could walk down the aisle, they can walk into the room and they can talk and interact and engage with their, their employees. Now being remote, that is even a bigger challenge for managers and supervisors, not just the workers. So how are you getting the message to managers and supervisors and we're doing webcasts and webinars with them to kind of educate them on how they can use the EAP along with how they can make referrals to us and how they can recommend us. You know, because they're engaging with their employees in a whole different way today. Then they did, you know, 60 days ago. So we had to reeducate managers and supervisors that, Oh, you can't just, you know, see that Bob's not coming to work, you know, on time or he's slacking off on his job, you know, but how are you managing them remotely?

David Campbell:

What are you looking for? What key factors are you going to evaluate a person's performance? Because that's an area that you can intervene possibly to assist them on getting them to the EAP that he's always late for calls, he's always late for meetings, he's missing deadlines, you know, engaging with them. Like what else is new, what, what we can do and what we can change. So again, it's, it's top level and again, the message from the top always plays an important role in supporting the program. When we have a lot of customers who have gotten their CEOs and owners to make personal messages to their employees about using the program and how important it is. Those are all kinds of things that we're trying to do.

Chris Takesian:

Yeah, no that, that's great. And I think you really hit a good point there. It's really about, you know, keeping that open line of communication. Just because you can't see the person, having check-ins, having maybe those morning meetings where you kind of just talk about your day, can serve as a really good check in point for, for those employees who may be struggling, and need to reach out to an EAP.

Chris Takesian:

So David, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your time.

David Campbell:

You're welcome. Stay safe.

Chris Takesian:

Thank you.

Chris Takesian:

To everyone listening, thank you for joining us. We will continue to cover topics that help employers and their employees to this new environment. So be sure to subscribe to Lincoln Absence Advisor on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclosure:

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lincoln Life and Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, New York, and Lincoln Life Insurance Company of Boston, Dover. New Hampshire affiliates are separately responsible for their own financial and contractual obligations.