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The ROI of Employee Assistant Programs

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Research shows that full-service EAPs are a good return on investment.


The Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) is a self-report measure with five questions that each assess a key aspects of workplace functioning of employees:

  1. Work Presenteeism
  2. Work Absenteeism
  3. Work Engagement
  4. Workplace Distress
  5. Life Satisfaction

In the 2021 WOS Report found significant improvements in all five areas after the use of an EAP program.

The greatest improvement after EAP counseling was the impact on presenteeism.  Presenteeism refers to the loss of productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning the in the workplace due to illness, injury or other conditions such as mental health . Even though the employee may be physically at work, they may not be able to fully perform their duties and are more likely to make mistakes on the job. 

More than half of all cases (56%) reported that their issue was making it difficult to concentrate on work.  The average user of EAP counseling had 63 hours of lost productive time during the month before the start of counseling. After counseling, productivity time was restored by more than 3 full workdays/month.

A typical counseling case yielded cost savings ranging from about $2,000 to $3,500 per case. 

The WOS Report found that ROI for employers in the U.S. ranged from:
3:1 for small size employers (average of 75 employees)
5:1 for medium size employers (averages of 400 employees)
9:1 for large size employers (average of 1000 employees)

"The conclusion is that brief counseling from EAPs improves multiple aspects of work functioning for many users of the service. All WOS  outcomes showed statistically significant results, although there were different degrees of impact and improvement. Work presenteeism and life satisfaction outcomes improved the most. Other tests found that the extent of improvement on the summary measure of all five WOS measures was generally consistent across a dozen context factors of different countries, EAP delivery models, client demographics, and other clinical factors. Some differences were found between the 45 different EAPs that provided WOS data, although this was a small size statistical effect." 

This information is compelling and can help you can make the business case to add EAP as tool for your employees. Bottomline, EAP is a good investment and partnering with Northstar EAP is a great one. 

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