The research was conducted to assess the utilisation of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) by employees at Polokwane Tertiary Hospital (PTH). PTH implemented the in-house EAP model with a professional employed by the organisation in 2007. After seven years of operation, the utilisation of EAP services at PTH has not been assessed. Currently there is no information with regard to referral and current usage of the services. The problem was formulated as: lack of available evaluative data on the employees knowledge and utilisation of the EAP. The research statements of the study were as follows:
? Poorly visibility, lack of knowledge and understanding of what EAP is, and concerns about confidentiality negatively affects utilisation of the services.
? When management is not involved and fully committed to the EAP in an organisation, the programme will not serve the purpose it was designed for and the situation leads to an infrequent or underutilisation of the services.
As the researcher intended to assess utilisation of EAP in PTH, it was appropriate to follow a quantitative approach in this applied research to establish a knowledge base. The researcher utilised a cross-sectional survey design. The researcher explored the goal of the study by means of a questionnaire that was developed after the in-depth literature review on EAP, to collect information from the employees, supervisors and managers. The researcher selected a sample of 100 respondents using stratified random sampling which is representative of all business units in the organisation. The data collected from all respondents indicates that the utilisation rate of EAP services was very low (8%) and that sixty five percent (63%) of the employees are not aware of the services within their own department, while seventy seven percent (78%) indicated that the services are not accessible. The data also show that the EAP is appropriate and a beneficial option for assisting the employees with addressing their problems which impact on their job performance negatively. The model adopted by the department is rated poor by employees in terms of confidentiality and accessibility. Therefore the researcher deduces that employees are not informed about the programme, while managers and supervisors are also not informed about EAP procedures.
Finally, it is concluded that the results of the study supported the research statements since seventy three (73%) of the respondents mentioned that they were uncertain whether the existing EAP was responding to their personal needs and that only twenty five (75%) of the managers or supervisors were also not involved in the programme. It is, therefore, recommended that the EAP unit should develop continuous and innovative marketing strategies to enhance employees? awareness of the EAP in order to ensure that all employees within PTH are aware of the programme. A dedicated initiative directed towards the provision of supervisory training is essential. Based on the findings of the study, conclusions and recommendations were made regarding the improvement of the EAP in PTH.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2015.