An EAP Is a Multifaceted Employee Support Program Minimizing Stress at Work and Home

Five Working Groups Generally Missed by Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) Leadership to be Consider in 2019

Today the Employee Assistance Program industry has evolved to meet the needs of the diverse tech-savvy virtual global workforce. EAP’s

They’ve morphed from early roots as an addiction resource to become a more holistic, multifaceted, multi-skilled employee support program that minimizes stress at work and at home.

The five primary EAP objectives are:

  1. Improved employee retention
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Diversity
  4. Engagement
  5. Performance 

Strategic small business partners

High-quality EAPs are strategic partners, working collaboratively and continuously with human resource coaches, consultants and other company stakeholders to promote a happier, healthier workforce by making services visible, responsive, inclusive and leadership-friendly.

By working with experienced consultants and employing best practices, organizations can build program awareness, increase utilization, and deliver a strong benefit return on investment.

Newly disabled, perennial workers (over 50), missionaries, military and disaster response relief workers returning to the workforce often struggle because they are frequently indistinguishable from their peers.

These five groups share a common thread when it comes to re-entering the workforce whether it be after a disabling now a life-long journey.

After a 50thbirthday; after many years conducting missionary work in underdeveloped countries with minimal resources; after actively serving in the military with specific defense skills or PTSD; or after returning home from a devastating disaster relief operation; as I can personally relate to as a disaster worker who knows how difficult the reentry process can be.

The role of the coach

As organizations, leaders, mentors, consultants and providers we must be equipped to asses, coach and lead each unique group and help them identify what they really need and want in this new phase of life, a career or organization and where they would find the most fulfillment in the workforce.

All while receiving holistic coaching services virtually from the comforts of their own personal space; without further schedule or traffic inconveniences added to their already busy daily agendas.

Trained strategy consultants can help organizations/employers identify best practices, strategies and resources that support:

1) Veteran specific

2) Newly disabled employees

3) Perennials (aging workforce)

4) Missionary

5) humanitarian disaster relief workers reentry readiness and preparedness back to the workforce via holistic virtual coaching practices.

EAP goals for 2019:

As we welcome a new year, let’s start by committing to the following three goals and make 2019 the year where we begin to be more inclusive and apply an additional lens that unifies our workforces, build up, support, accommodates and equip ALL people.

Here are there goals for 2019:

  1. Identify specific Holistic coaching programs and professional development strategies for workforce reentry for the following groups:
  • Veterans transitioning back to civil life and the workforce
  • Newly disabled employees previously abled bodies
  • Perennials (the aging workforce 50 and above)
  • Missionaries returning from underdeveloped countries
  • Humanitarian disaster relief workers returning after disastrous events

2. Implement a minimum of (7) new resources to current cadre of EAP coaching solutions in order to develop a unique competitive advantage and generate new ideas on how they can be applied to their existing organizations and practices.

3. Add a pilot holistic virtual coaching EAP that embraces and incorporates methods to effectively support, engage and unify employees and their families in at least two primary spoken languages (i.e. English/Spanish) to receive coaching in Virtual Settings that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.


A present-day EAP should expand beyond their basic services, offering a wide range of creative culturally specific innovative services that supports and includes all employees and family members in all aspects and walks of life. Want to know more about the top five groups reentering the workforce that many EAP services miss?

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Ivette Ruiz
Ivette Ruiz
Dr. Ivette Ruiz, President, Onward Horizons Leadership Development Associates is a cultural change catalyst, holistic coach, minister, author, backyard farmer, animal lover, mother of two and grandmother of three precious angels. She’s known for her bilingual motivational talks, her servant leadership style, humanitarian work and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect in more meaningful ways to minimize silos and create unity. She’s an accomplished diversity & inclusion (DI) and organization development professional with over 18 years of demonstrated experience and leadership capability in human resources, healthcare, academia, project management, start-ups and delivery of DI strategies with a proven track record of partnering with cross-functional leaders across matrix global organizations to increase awareness of enterprise level leadership development and DI initiatives. Strong and proven competencies in organizational development, team management, leadership development, training, performance review, business management and the creation of high-performing teams and individuals secured through strong interpersonal and collaborative skills that positively affect outcomes.

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