Future Considerations for The EAP Affiliate
The global workforce is made up of knowledge workers. That means that every worker today needs to use their mental capacity to function at work and in their personal life. The mental skills of concentration, analysis, on-going learning, critical thinking and decision making are required at all workplace levels today. And all workers need to be adept at soft skills as well i.e. respect, communication and empathy. Simply put: we are in the era of brain over brawn.
What this means to the field of EAP is that more and more workers today will be in need of Employee Assistance Programs and will be comfortable enough to access them. This specialized benefit to employees and their family members is a gift as long as the EAP program is working well on the front lines i.e. counsellor-client sessions.
When stress mounts today to unacceptable levels then coping mechanisms break down and employees and / or their family members will need the right kind of counselling help by skilled EA professionals.
The research shows 35% – 55% of EA professionals delivering the individual EAP / EFAP client services are affiliates i.e. contract counsellors. These contract counsellors are often in private practice. To these counsellors, EAP referrals are another revenue stream – one that feeds their private practice either a little or a lot.
Yes, it is unacceptable that many EA affiliates are paid sub-standard hourly fees even by some of the more successful and global EAP provider companies. However, I believe change is in the air and the requirements will come to the surface in the next few years as EAP provider companies will be contracting with the EAP skilled counsellors and will be paying them fairly whether sessions are delivered face-to-face or by telephone. It is good to see that many EAP provider companies have already started to.
I hope to see many of you in San Diego at the end of this month for the World EAPA conference. It is a venue to network, to market yourself, gain EAP global insight and acquire the training to increase your skill set.