Winter (2)

Winter is coming and the cold weather is creeping upon us. Whilst many organisations look forward to the opportunities that the coming season brings, a HR disaster looms for employers that aren’t proactively taking care of their staff. An Employee Assistance Programme is the best way to beat absenteeism, employee stress and workplace tension this winter.

Cold and flu, snow disruption and money troubles are all common issues for employees during the winter. In the run up to Christmas roads become busier, personal finances become more difficult to manage and stress becomes more prominent in the workplace.

And if that isn’t enough - illness, holiday requests and Blue Monday are all waiting to strike once the festive season is over.

This season is certainly not the time for doom and gloom. Employers can ensure that winter remains the season of good will by providing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to help employees manage their wellbeing.

Employee Assistance Programmes help staff deal with mental and physical health as well as legal and financial issues. The schemes provide an online help system and around the clock telephone counselling services. Whether employees are looking for advice on managing their finances over Christmas, searching for their nearest flu vaccination centre or need counselling on stress-related illnesses, an EAP scheme can help.

The scheme can also help employers during the busy winter period. Businesses have more time to deal with other issues, HR departments can put their absenteeism concerns aside and people managers can receive expert advice on how to deal with specific situations.

Whilst organisations should always welcome conversations with stressed or unhealthy employees, a helping hand from an EAP aids both employer and employee during this busy period.

Before winter arrives, businesses should work out whether an EAP can help combat common HR issues. This season is about fun and festivities; don’t let it become overcast by poorly managed employment issues.

By John Woodward, CEO of Busy Bees Benefits