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Points out the surge of interest being shown by UK employers in counselling in the workplace. Highlights the paucity of counselling evaluation research in the UK, although US studies have revealed positive outcomes. Details the objectives of an HSE‐funded three‐year research project which has recently been completed by UMIST to evaluate employee assistance programmes (EAPs). Aims to establish a link between counselling employees and personnel performance criteria. Stresses that in order for an EAP to succeed it must have full management support, clear pre‐set goals, highly trained and experienced counsellors and should be externally audited to monitor quality and efficiency and justify an organization’s spending on the programme.
Increasingly there is a demand for information on the effectivenessof Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and counselling in theworkplace. EAPs need to be evaluated to…
Increasingly there is a demand for information on the effectiveness of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and counselling in the workplace. EAPs need to be evaluated to ascertain the extent to which they reach their objectives and to find ways to improve effectiveness. Discusses the pros and cons of assessment methods such as questionnaires and the use of a comparison group to act as a control group for research purposes. Considers the importance of maintaining confidentiality during research as this is a cornerstone of any successful EAP. Covers the practical problems of evaluation at an organizational level and use of available data; and the difficulties of establishing and maintaining rapport with management and programme personnel.
Until recently most evaluations of EAPs have been qualitative. In the US there has been a move towards insisting on hard data, i.e. cost‐benefit ratios. The nature of EAPs makes identification of a clear outcome oriented model of intervention difficult if not impossible. Discusses different methods of evaluating EAPs and compares their usefulness.