Employers see significant ROI in EFAPs

Every $1 invested provides $8.70 in return: Study

Every $1 invested in an employee and family assistance program (EFAP) translates into a return on investment of $8.70 through a combination of improved productivity at work and less time away from work, according to a Morneau Shepell study.

The dollar value for return on investment was calculated using the average wage for each client’s industry based on July 2013 Statistics Canada data and the case cost was standardized to the average.

“One of the most critical factors for business success is employee productivity: It impacts an organization’s bottom line,” said Paula Allen, vice-president of research and integrative solutions at Morneau Shepell. “The personal issues of employees impact their productivity and providing them with an EFAP can help to resolve those issues and protect their productivity."

Return on Investment for Employee and Family Assistance Programs is based on data collected from 80,000 cases in Canada of Morneau Shepell’s EFAP.

EFAP users completed a questionnaire at their first EFAP session after seeking help and another questionnaire at their last EFAP session, providing information on changes in productivity or absenteeism at work.

•63 per cent said their productivity at work had been negatively impacted in the four weeks before they contacted their EFAP because of the issue that led to them calling.

•Employees seeking help through their EFAP recorded a 35.9 per cent increase in productivity at work, compared to their productivity just before seeking help.

•Employees using their EFAP recorded less time away from work after getting help through the EFAP.

•46 per cent of employees reaching out to the EFAP said they would have lost time from work were it not for the support they received through the EFAP. And one-third of those employees also said they would have been off work for more than 20 days were it not for the support they received through the EFAP.

Because EFAPs have been around for a while, they are sometimes taken for granted and this study shows their value, said Allen.

“An EFAP is a highly cost-effective and easy-to-implement step for an organization seeking to support its employees and protect the company’s productivity. The typical cost of an EFAP is about one per cent of the cost of a health benefits plan.”

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