EMPLOYERS NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE
IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING THEIR WORKFORCE
In the not-so-distant past, employers often expected their em-ployees
to leave their personal problems at the door.
Fortunately, that line of thinking is changing as more em-ployers
realize this old adage is not realistic and that the side
effects of working through personal issues, stress and anxieties at
home – as well as deeper concerns like dependencies and addic-tion
– spill over to work. After all, we are only human and we don’t
come equipped with an on/off switch.
“When employers truly believe people are their biggest asset,
they take action to protect and support that resource and strength-en
the organization at the same time. Enter employee assistance
programs (EAPs),” said Allan Stordy, president and CEO of
Calgary-based Arete Human Resources, Inc.
He says people are often surprised to learn that EAPs first
emerged in the 1940s. But the original approach was based on as-sisting
workers with alcohol addictions.
“In those days, employees struggling with alcoholism were gen-erally
fired or retired on the job,” said Stordy. “This initial foray
into assistance provided by employers, classified as industrial (or
occupational) alcoholism programs, was an early forerunner of the
more comprehensive EAPs we see today.”
By Lisa Kopochinski
Good Business Sense
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2014 ❚ 37