I found this tidbit pretty interesting, we often hear that our employers have an Employee Assistance Program, but how often do you hear from someone who has actually used it?
“”If you’ve never called that number, do it, so you can look employees in the eye and tell them about your experience with the service to reduce the stigma,” she suggested.
“The more we talk about these things in the workplace, the more we can say people will struggle sometimes and this is what we do.””
In thinking back over my career, I can count the number of people I knew used the EAP on one finger. That’s it, and she wasn’t part of the management team.
If we truly want people to feel supported, and encouraged to use the resources available to them when they are struggling, it doesn’t help to have a situation where they can’t identify anyone else who has been through it, and is still employed. We need to be able to talk about the process, and having people who run the place do so is the best way to create that kind of work atmosphere.
I’m not saying everyone should share all the details of their situation if they don’t want to, or that doing so is not sometimes inappropriate. What I am saying is that employees deserve to see examples of, as the author says above – “this is what we do”. If the absence of any other information, people will assume that reaching out for assistance is actually not what we do around here. You need to provide proof that it is.
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