Employee assistance programmes are workplace programmes developed to assist work
organisations to address productivity issues resulting from the psychosocial problems
experienced by employees. These psycho-social problems may include health, marital,
financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress, or other personal issues that may affect
job performance. EAPs also serve the organisation by consulting with the organisation
about matters that may have an influence on the organisational performance and by
giving assistance to individual employees.
In the beginning (19th century), EAPs were more concerned about helping employees
with alcohol problems in the workplace, which later changed to a more broadened
scope to address a wide range of problems. Services are currently rendered according
to best practices based on the application of core technologies. These core
technologies include training and development, marketing, case management,
consulting with the work organisation, networking, monitoring, and evaluation and are
essential for the operation and functioning of successful EAPs. Furthermore, EAP
standards were developed to benchmark practice and provide guidelines to encourage
EAP practice to implement proactive strategies, interventions and tools consciously and
purposely. The researcher believes that employee assistance intervention can help
prevent the development of more serious psycho-social problems which may in turn
impact negatively on the health and productivity of an employee.
The premise of the study is on describing the structure and operational functioning of
the EAP at UAH in order to redesign the EAP, if indicated.
? A literature study was carried out to illustrate the EAP core technologies and
standards and its role in and impact on the structure and operational functioning
of EAP. . The study seeks to enquire the structure and operational functioning of
EAP and their influence on each other through the following objectives:- to explore and describe the profile of the UAH as an organisation (which forms part
of designing an EAP);
? to explore the needs of the hospital (management, union members, and
operational staff members) in terms of the EAP;
? to explore the existing structure and operational functioning of the EAP, with
specific reference to the EAP core technologies; and
? to provide recommendations to the management of the UAH, for the redesign of
the EAP, should such redesign be indicated.
The empirical findings obtained from a sample of employees from Universitas Academic
Hospital (supervisors, unions, and employees) revealed the core aspect of the study
through the quantitative research method. The research had applied the quantitative
approach, since observations were systematically undertaken in a standardized
statistical procedure. The study also used applied research since it aimed at solving a
problem in practice, by providing specific recommendations to the management of the
institution. Data were collected by means of a survey where a questionnaire was
developed and distributed amongst members of the target group (supervisors, unions,
The study indicated that there is a need for implementation of other core technology in
the EAP, e.g. training and development, marketing, consulting with the work
organisation, networking, monitoring, and evaluation rather than only focusing on
counselling in the administration of the programme. The study also revealed the
importance of conducting needs assessment of an organisation before designing an
EAP to ensure that the needs of the organisation and its employees are met and to
enhance the utilisation rate of the programme. The study further indicated that for the
programme to function effectively, it had to have a steering committee represented at
the highest level and representative of all sections in the organisation.
The research conclusions and recommendations served as a basis for developing
guidelines to enhance the structure and operational functioning of EAP in the UAH. These recommendations seek to assist the management of UAH to promote the
effective operational functioning of an EAP and enhance the well-being of employees
and good service delivery.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2015.