EMPLOYEE COUNSELLING TODAY PROFESSIONA L ISSUE S AN INTRODUCTION TO THE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION (EAPA) The development of Employee Assistance (2) Provision of expert consultation to Programmes (EAPs) in America has not been supervisors, managers and union stewards an entirely smooth-growing curve. The initial on when and how to use the employee programmes originated as an off-shoot of the assistance policy. industrial alcoholism movement that started (3) Appropriate use of Constructive during the Second World War, and expanded Confrontation. in the 1960s to offer assistance to workers (4) Micro-links of employees with with personal problems as well as those counselling, treatment and other related to alcohol abuse. Today they form an community resources. integral part of human resource management, (5) Macro-links of the home organisation and constitute a positive response by the with counselling, treatment and other employers towards their employees community resources. experiencing personal or substance abuse problems. (6) Constructive assistance to employees with The common use of the term "assistance" substance abuse problems. in EAP means different things to different (7) Provision of expert consultation to other people, and programmes frequently reflect departments and units in the home the priorities and emphases of different organisation. groups. Sonnestuhl (1984) reports that The evolution of EAPs to the stage where research has not kept pace with programme clear standards exist, key programme features development; consequently there are a variety are identified and criteria for professional of opinions about what constitutes an EAP, recognition in the field are established, has and what works and what does not work. In not been easy. EAPs in the US are prolific, addition the qualifications and quality of the and their quality varies considerably. In the people providing the EAP are varied and UK many EAP providers are rapidly frequently questionable. emerging. The models of service delivery are In response to the above differences in already diverse. An opportunity exists to programme design, structure and provider learn from EAPA the pitfalls and quality, a professional body now called the opportunities of EAP development, Employee Assistance Professionals consequently to create a profession which is Association (EAPA — formerly ALMACA) based on key principles, a clear code of has drawn up standards for EAPs. Coupled ethics and practice, and consistent quality. with these standards has been the Without these aspects the individual development of an accreditation scheme recipients of the service may suffer and the which incorporates what Roman and Blum purchaser — the employer — become (1987) have described as core technology. vulnerable to inferior services. This emphasises the unique relationship an Future issues of Employee Counselling Today EA P has with the workplace. The seven areas will consider each of the core technology areas in described below are not found in other more detail, and keep readers informed of workplace counselling services, either within development within Europe and particularly the the organisation or externally provided. UK of EAPA initiatives. (1) Identification of employees' behavioural problems based on job performance issues.
Employee Counselling Today – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1990