The researcher is employed at Aventis Pharma as an Employee Assistance Practitioner since 2001. Employees at Aventis Pharma do not utilize the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). They wait for supervisors to refer them to the EAP for assistance. The purpose of this study was to explore the reasons for the resistance of troubled employees to utilize the EAP at Aventis Pharma. In this study, a qualitative approach was the most appropriate because the researcher’s intention was to get information on employees’ perceptions, not numerical data. The researcher intended to ascertain the respondents’ feelings, perceptions and opinions based on their resistance to utilize EAP. The researcher utilized applied research because Royce (1991:19) states that its findings are used to solve problems of immediate concern. The researcher utilized applied research in order to understand the problem in detail and to generate knowledge with regard to solving the problem of resistance. The researcher utilized an exploratory design that is more qualitative in nature. The purpose of the exploratory study was to gain insight into a situation, phenomenon, community or person (Bless&Higson-Smith, 1995:42). The researcher explored the respondents’ perceptions, feelings and opinions of EAP to find out their reasons for not utilizing the EAP. A phenomenological strategy was utilized. The aim of the researcher was to understand perceptions, feelings and opinions about utilizing the EAP from various respondents. A literature study as well as an empirical investigation was implemented in this research project. Respondents were gathered on a sampling basis and a semi-structured interview schedule was used to gather information from the respondents at Aventis Pharma. In this study the semi-structured interview schedule helped the researcher to gain knowledge and understand the respondents’ perceptions, feelings and opinions on the utilization of an EAP. The interview schedule consisted of open and close-ended questions. A tape recorder was used to ensure that all the necessary information was recorded. After collecting information, it was analysed and interpreted and the researcher compiled a report to document the research findings. The researcher conducted a pilot test with 2 employees who were not part of the main study and this helped the researcher to check the effectiveness of the interview schedule before it could be done on a large population. The research population for this study was the employees of Aventis Pharma. The company is situated in the east of Pretoria. It consists of 215 employees. The boundary of the sample consisted of 12 employees at Aventis Pharma. The company consists of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled employees. The respondents were employees who are semi-skilled, those who have standard seven to a diploma. The respondents were between the ages of 20 and 55 years, males and females from various race groups. For the purpose of this study, the researcher utilized the non-probability purposive sampling. The in-depth interviews revealed the following: The majority of employees knew about the EAP, marketing was done within the company but some employees could not differentiate between the EAP and social work. Different types of written materials were used to introduce the programme in the company. Employees do not want supervisors to refer them to the EAP; they want to consult on their own. They believe that if a supervisor refers you to the EAP, it means you have problems. The employees’ resistance to consult on their own forces the supervisors to apply a mandatory referral. On the issue of supervisory training, employees feel that supervisors should not be trained on EAP. They believe that supervisors will not leave their jobs and became EA practitioners. For most employees, supervisory training is a waste of time.
Dissertation (MSD (EAP))--University of Pretoria, 2006.