Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An evaluation of the benefits of Employee Assistance Programmes as a mechanism for supporting the organisation's workforce
Author: Alker, Linda Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 0382
Awarding Body: Manchester Business School
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2005
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study explored whether Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) could act as a mechanism for providing both counselling and support to employees and managers within the workplace. The aims of the study were to establish what motivated employers to purchase an EAP, as opposed to some other form of stress management intervention. Further, the study examined what individual and organisational benefits could be gained from the introduction ofan EAP. The setting for this study was two case studies; Organisation A and Organisation B where an employee assistance programme was introduced following a period of internal and external organisational change. A case study approach was adopted combining both quantitative and qualitative methods. It employed the use of interviews and focus groups with management and employees to investigate the management rationale for introducing the EAP. This was followed up with an employee survey using the Pressure Management Indicator (PMI) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) that targeted the clients who had used the programme, to establish the individual benefits ofthe programme. In order to make comparisons with this client group a random selection ofemployees (who had not used the EAP) was targeted using the same measures. Both case studies demonstrated that the motivation to purchase an EAP was driven by the need to provide a humanistic approach to employee problems following a period oforganisational change. Senior Managers viewed the EAP as a means of resolving potential problems with changes in work roles leading to absenteeism and increased stress levels. The EAP was identified as one of many strategies that could help to alleviate these problems. The findings demonstrated that the clients who had used the EAP demonstrated significant improvements in mental well-being and physical well being from pre to post counselling. The unmatched control group presented with higher levels ofmental and physical distress than either the clients from Organisation A or B, which demonstrated that the EAP was not necessarily targeting people that were most in need ofthe service. The study revealed that organisational benefits can be gained by introducing an EAP in terms ofreduced absenteeism as in the case of employees from Organisation A and reductions in stress levels as in the case of employees from Organisation B. This is contrary to previous research, which has found that employees' perceptions oftheir source of stress within the organisation did not change. The feedback from the interviews and focus groups revealed that managers need to be proactive as opposed to reactive before introducing an EAP. It also indicated that there is a need to identify the environmental causes and consequences of stress, and give serious consideration to the need for other preventative measures in addition to the EAP. Future research may seek to examine the changing nature of EAPs and workplace counselling including an examination of the use ofthe Internet as a medium for providing employee support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available