Leadership Hendricks County is a community leadership development program that takes adults from all walks of life and all communities throughout Hendricks County, and brings them together to learn about our community’s challenges. Each Leadership Hendricks County class is divided into several groups, each of which tackles a project in an area they see as important.

One of the groups in the 2015 class decided to focus on the availability of employee assistance programs (EAP). If you’re not familiar with these kind of programs, they are plans that provide services to help employees deal with challenges of life so that they may become healthier, more productive workers. A generation ago, if a company learned that one of its workers was an alcoholic or a drug abuser, that worker might be fired without any help or treatment. Today, the company is more likely to encourage the worker to receive treatment so that he or she can get back to normal life and return to work.

The concept makes sense not only because we should treat others as we would want to be treated, but also from a business standpoint. Companies spend significant amounts of money to find and train employees, and turnover creates a tremendous cost. Once a company has invested in hiring and training an employee, there’s an economic incentive to keep that person employed. That’s where EAPs come in.

The Leadership Hendricks County group discovered that only 64% of companies in our area offer assistance programs as a benefit. That means workers for nearly a third of companies are forced to face problems without support from their employers. They may not know how to obtain help or where to turn for it. In the meantime, the underlying issues are affecting their productivity, the quality of their work, their health, and their own lives.

Most employers gladly provide health care coverage to their employees, because they know that physically healthy employees tend to be happier and more productive, with less absenteeism. That’s why some employers have even added onsite clinics or wellness programs to encourage employees to stay healthier and miss fewer days of work. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health. If your company believes that it’s important to encourage workers to stay physically healthy, it makes sense that you encourage them to stay mentally healthy, too.

Care to Change works with employers to develop customized benefit plans to serve the specifics of their workplace and their employees’ needs. We can also work with companies to make confidential, effective counseling services at a reduced cost available as an employee benefit. We’d be happy to sit down with your company’s leadership team to discuss ways in which we could help you better serve your most important asset: your people.

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