Human Resource Management – Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs

While ADR is effective in dealing with problems related to performance and disputes between people at work, many of the problems that lead an organization to want to terminate the employee involve in drug or alcohol abuse or personal issues. In these cases, the organization's discipline program should also incorporate an employee assistance program (EAP) – referral service employees can use to seek professional and confidential treatment for emotional problems or substance abuse.

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EAP's vary widely, but most share some basic elements. First, the programs are usually identified in official documents published by the employer such as employee handbooks. Supervisors and line managers are trained to use the referral service for employees whom they suspect of having health related problems. The organization also trains employees to use the system to refer themselves when necessary, and the services are usually made available to the employee's partner and family members.


Charitable initiatives – whether ongoing fundraisers or annual events – foster a sense of community within an organization, thereby increasing an employee's satisfaction, engagement, and retention.


It basically demonstrates honesty and fairness. Organizations and their employees must meet these standards if they are to maintain positive long run relationships with their employees, customers and community. Ethical behavior is most likely to result from values held by the organization's leaders combined with systems that promote ethical behavior a number of organizational behaviors can promote ethical behavior. These include a written code of ethics that the organization distributes to employees and expects them to use in decision making. Publishing a list of ethical standards is not enough, however. The organization should reinforce ethical behavior. For example, performance measures should include ethical standards. The organization should provide channels, employees can use to ask questions about ethical behavior or to seek help if they are expected to do something they believe is wrong. Organizations can also provide training in ethical decision making.

As these examples suggest, ethical behavior is human resources management concern. The systems that promote ethical behavior include such HRM functions as training, performance management, and discipline policies. In today's business climate, ethical behavior also can affect recruiting. Recent high profile scandals involving fraudulent accounting practices and executive fraud have hastened the collapse of some companies and put thousands of employees out of work. Many organizations are developing and clarifying expectations for ethical behavior.

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