The need to manage and motivate talented employees and to minimize attendance and productivity concerns is undeniable. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) have demonstrated their value as effective workplace tools in improving productivity and reducing absenteeism and accidents. A comprehensive, employer-supported engagement strategy targeted to the unique concerns of the multigenerational workplace can help to increase use of the EAP and reduce workplace problems.

With a strong EAP in place, you have provided a valuable resource for employees. The EAP is available to conduct a detailed assessment, facilitate linkages with available resources and provide motivational counseling and support.

A strong outreach initiative also will make a difference. Encouraging employees to use the services of the EAP must be accomplished through targeted and meaningful program promotions.

Enlist senior leadership support

The success of EAP promotions requires strong support from senior leadership as well as corporate communications or human resources to enable broad communication efforts. With senior leadership support, the EAP can take on a more prominent role within the organization and solicit cooperation from all levels.

To begin to generate that support, identify senior leaders who have an interest in the workplace from a multigenerational or diversity perspective or who already have demonstrated interest in a comprehensive worker engagement program at the workplace; they can help you gain the support of other leaders. We encourage you to take an aggressive approach in implementing a targeted engagement and promotional campaign.

To support your efforts, ValueOptions has crafted a sample PowerPoint presentation you can use to engage the support of senior leadership:

Senior leadership PowerPoint presentation

Reinforce the role of supervisors

Supervisors play a key role in identifying employees who may benefit from a referral to the EAP. Supervisors may be aware of personal struggles, such as an existing medical issue or stress, that an employee is facing. Although these concerns may not immediately cause job performance problems such as absenteeism or reduced productivity, the supervisor can informally remind the employee of the resources and availability of the EAP.

Managers and supervisors also may find the consultative services of the EAP helpful in identifying a strategy to motivate and lead or to resolve conflict in a multigenerational work team.

Early intervention, whether based on job performance issues or informal reminders, can help employees access services that will help them take control of their lives.

Establish a workgroup

A cornerstone to the success of this initiative is the formation of an interdisciplinary workgroup from the outset. The function of this group is not only to create an educational and promotional program for your organization, but also to meet regularly to continuously evaluate the program, identify trends and enhance and develop the program. Ideally, this program would include active participation from all levels of the organization and represent all generations.