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Employee Assistance Programs: What Works and What Doesn't

Employee Assistance Programs: What Works and What Doesn't (Hardback)

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Employee assistance, as a profession and as a practical endeavor, is in serious trouble. Employee assistance programs that seemed so promising when they were initiated have fallen far short of their potential. Here, the author addresses the need for employee assistance programs to return to traditional roots, recover original purpose and vitality, and resurrect their true mission. The field is in an advanced state of dissolution. Why have employee assistance programs, which seemed so promising when they were initiated, fallen so far short of their potential? There are many reasons, including a preoccupation on the part of employee assistance professionals with vague notions of change and diversity without a corresponding concrete idea of what those terms mean, why they are desirable goals, or how to achieve them. There is also a lack of emphasis on management's role in anchoring employee assistance in the worksite.

The solutions that are often proposed fall into three categories: trying to be all things to all people by including welfare-to-work and outplacement functions; discarding the traditional structure of employee assistance altogether while chasing the latest fad; and integrating employee assistance with managed mental health care. All three will fail, because none addresses the need for employee assistance to return to its traditional roots, recover its purpose and vitality, and resurrect its true mission. This book does address that need.

LAWRENCE P. MANNION has worked in the employee assistance field for twenty years. He is presently employed at Via Christi Regional Medical Center as an employee assistance consultant in the employee assistance program.

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