By Denise Hellekson, Clinical Associate at Village Business Institute
Headshot by Hillary Ehlen
While many insurers offer employee-assistance programs (EAPs), they often tack them on to existing employee-benefit plans as add-ons. Fargo’s Village Business Institute (VBI), though, offers a more customized, local approach whether you’re looking for help with mediation, counseling or regulatory compliance. Here are 10 reasons you should consider VBI for your EAP.
1. FACE-TO-FACE PERSONAL COUNSELING
VBI offers face-to-face counseling to your employees wherever they are.This includes the option of web-based counseling in some states.
- Relationship issues: Couples/marriage, parent/child, single-parent challenges, coping with older parents, family issues
- Emotional-health issues: Depression, anxiety, grief, emotional problems, suicide issues
- Drug and alcohol issues: Prevention education, assessment/evaluations, relapse prevention/after-care support, DOT compliance
- Workplace issues: Employee relationship issues, work- and home-life balance, coping with change, dealing with difficult coworkers and job stress
Denise Hellekson: “We’re here to help during the tough times such as grief and loss, relationship issues and/or trauma, but it’s not the only reason to seek us out. The Village EAP is a wellness benefit for employees and their household members and we encourage people to reach out when they are feeling stuck, stressed or anxious, or just needing support managing the demands of a busy life.”
2. SUPERVISOR HELPLINE
Supervisors often face unfamiliar challenges in their roles. VBI’s helpline is staffed by their trained professionals available to consult on a variety of HR and workplace issues. This ensures your supervisors can deal with employee’s issues quickly and efficiently before they escalate.
3. FINANCIAL COUNSELING
Financial issues are often at the root of employees’ problems. VBI’s EAPs include financial counseling as a core employee benefit. VBI’s financial professionals will work to create a financial action plan, tailored to fit each situation and lifestyle.
Hellekson: “It can be very hard to reach out for help when we are faced with financial problems, and we can struggle in silence. But, knowledge is power. Working with our Financial Counselors in a supportive, confidential setting can empower people to discover their options, take back control, and learn the skills they need to be successful in managing their financial future.”
4. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
VBI’s EAP has its own dedicated staff of professionals who provide the highest quality of counseling, training, consulting, crisis-management and case-management services. Because of the flexibility of our professional staff, VBI delivers a level of quality that is difficult to match.
5. MONTHLY OR QUARTERLY EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTERS
In addition to valuable information, VBI newsletters are another way they encourage employees of member companies to seek counseling when issues arise.
6. LEGAL-CONSULTATION SERVICES
Services are provided by licensed, practicing attorneys who are members of the Bar Association. Employees receive a half-hour consultation without charge. Consultations occur over the phone or possibly face-to-face. Employees needing legal assistance beyond the initial consultation can choose to receive it from a network attorney at reduced rates (up to a 25 percent discount).
7. ROUND-THE-CLOCK CRISIS COUNSELING
VBI has counselors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 364 days of the year to assist employees and their household members when crises arise.
- Risk assessment
- Preparation of crisis management plans, including policies, manuals and checklists
- Consultation on the management of crisis communications
8. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS
- Education programs: Employees and their household members can use their EAP sessions to take a variety of educational classes. Those include but are not limited to: parenting, couples relationship, drug and alcohol education and anger-management classes.
- Personal health risk assessment: VBI’s EAP provides employees and their household members with a personal HRA and other tools to help better understand their health status.
- Nutrition counseling: Access to a nutrition counselor for nutrition concerns or education
- Wellness Website: VBI’s EAP website includes assessment tools for depression, relationship health, and a drug and alcohol questionnaire. In addition, it includes a video blog from VBI’s counselors and training professionals on various topics such as stress management, effective communication and work-life balance.
9. PROGRAM SUPPORT
- Employee orientations: Sessions for employers to explain EAP, how it’s used and the services it offers. Delivered in person at benefit launch and as requested. Recorded version also available to employees and employers when onboarding.
- Supervisor orientations: Sessions for management and supervisory staff on how to deal with troubled employees and how to use the tools of the EAP. Delivered in person at benefit launch and as requested to promote usage.
- Dedicated account executives: Quality account management can provide resources and answer account or service questions.
10. EMPLOYER SERVICES
- Supervisor helpline: Supervisors often face unfamiliar challenges in their roles. VBI’s helpline is staffed by their trained professionals available to consult on a variety of HR and workplace issues.
- Formal referrals: An employer resource that is useful when supervisors have documented a job-performance decline over a period of time or when an employee violates the organization’s drug-free workplace policy
- Customized employee- and management-training: VBI’s team of professional trainers provide comprehensive training solutions to help you build and maintain a high-performing and engaged workforce.
- Crisis Management Services: Work-related crises can come in many forms, including accidental death, worksite injury, natural disasters and crime. VBI offers a range of on-site crisis services to assist organizations in limiting the negative impact and helping employees cope.
Hellekson: “Our VBI training professionals customize requested topics to fit the organization’s needs. We offer a wide array of topics for supervisors, teams and employees. Topics range from compliance requests to interpersonal skill development to wellness issues. Whatever the need, we’re here to help!”