Posted by Michelle Normandeau on August 10, 2021
Michelle Normandeau

Most Canadian companies have an employee assistance program (EAP), but when it comes to determining how effective they are, With EAP utilization rates sitting at just 11% and satisfaction rates at 39%, it’s no shock that the standard EAP experience notoriously falls short of expectations. On top of that, we are in the midst of a widespread mental health crisis. And despite the fact that most Canadian organizations offer their staff access to an EAP, employees still aren’t able to get the help they need.

Why aren't employees getting the help they need?

Traditional EAPs as you know them are no longer serving their purpose. Many employees and employers alike consider their traditional EAPs to be inconvenient, difficult to access and outdated, which leaves employees in the dark without immediate solutions to their issues. EAPs remain a timeless pillar of employee benefits for most Canadian companies, yet according to the 2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare survey, employee stress and presenteeism (remaining at work while not able to perform to the best of their abilities) are on the rise: 36% of Canadian employees either arrived late or left work early due to stress and 41% of Canadian employees took at least one full sick day for stress-related causes over the last year. 


So why are employees stressed if they have access to an EAP?

The answer to this is simple: traditional EAPs aren’t meeting modern employee needs. Whether it’s having to dial up a 1-800 number and wait on hold before being put in touch with a care professional or only getting an appointment after days or even weeks, traditional EAPs actively deter employees from seeking help and therefore leave employees stressed, anxious, and unable to perform to the best of their abilities in the workplace. As an employer paying for this resource, sticking with a traditional EAP that employees don’t use is a wasted investment. After all, isn’t the point of an employee assistance program to offer the most efficient care possible to employees whenever and wherever they require it?

Read on to discover why right now is the best time to switch providers and find the EAP that’s right for you and your team.



How to boost EAP utilization? 

How to have your employees use it?

While many wellness programs leave it up to the organization to take the reins on driving up program adoption and utilization rates, Dialogue makes it a priority to help you and your members make the most of your benefits. Why? We’ve spoken to hundreds of clients and partners, and the most common challenges are awareness about the benefits available and driving that program's adoption. 

Clear onboarding and proactive employee engagement plans

A key step towards members using your health and wellness programs is making sure they actually know that they have access to them. That’s where Dialogue steps in. Dialogue’s customer success team helps to create and provide tips on how to successfully promote your programs internally and encourage employee engagement through ongoing communication campaigns. 

Integrated wellness reporting of metrics allows HR leaders to track program success 

Choosing to invest in a health and wellness program for your organization is a huge decision, which is why each of our programs offer integrated wellness reporting* (data availability dependent on client size to protect confidentiality). This helps HR and health benefits leaders like yourself gain a deeper understanding of how your programs are performing among your staff. 

Thousands of organizations have already reaped the benefits of Dialogue’s programs

Working with over 25,000 organizations Canada-wide, Dialogue has driven utilization among members and provided quality care that makes a significant difference in the lives of many. Our health and wellness programs give members the tools and hands-on support they need to tackle personal or work-related issues, including general health inquiries, financial and legal support, stress and wellness, family and relationship counselling, and much more (depending on the programs that are offered by the employer).

While you may have struggled to get your members to use certain benefits in the past, Dialogue was designed to resolve member health and wellness issues quickly, get demonstrable results, and offer support to ensure you will get the utilization rates that you want to see. 

Read on to discover why right now is the best time to switch providers and find the EAP that’s right for you and your team.

Topics: For Organizations

About the author

Michelle is the content writer for Dialogue. She's also a freelance writer for multiple publications including Narcity Media and Time Out Montreal.