GEB’s client Fujitsu achieved a 14% utilisation of their EAP in 2021. Here they share their replicable and simple tactics with us.
- In 2020/21 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health in the UK*
- However industry statistics show that average utilisation rates for Employee Assistance Programmes are less than 4.5%**.
- GEB’s client Fujitsu hit an impressive 14% utilisation rate in 2021
- They have shared their practical and replicable tactics to help other GEB clients get more from their own EAP programmes.
Fujitsu recognises that regular communication is essential. Starting with top-down communication, Fujitsu holds monthly manager meetings in which the EAP service is a regular agenda item. This increases managerial awareness of the service and therefore, their propensity to recommend it to team members.
Breadth of support
Keeping the messaging fresh and relevant is also a key ingredient for success. Fujitsu has segmented the diversity of topics addressed by their EAP programme, into a wide range of different communications. Their data shows that many queries into their EAP regard financial and legal concerns; reinforcing the need to expand the scope of messaging beyond ‘stress’, ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety’, to resonate with more people and increase awareness of the breadth of support available via the EAP.
They also harness the power of community. Like many organisations, Fujitsu creates space for internal groups of employees with shared life experiences to give and receive support. For example, Fujitsu arranged a specific talk addressing LGBTQ+ experiences which was promoted within their internal Pride Community group. Acknowledging the specific challenges that may affect different groups of employees, the EAP communications can be targeted and specific, increasing inclusivity of the service.
Creating an open culture
We all recognise that a significant barrier to EAP usage is stigma which can be hard to overcome. Fujitsu takes steps to destigmatise mental health and therefore, increase workers likelihood to seek support. Using the hashtag #BECOMPLETELYYOU, the company encourages employees to share their whole self. Facilitating this, they host webinars on a myriad of employee experiences from sexuality and gender transition to cultural integration, leveraging experiences of senior leaders and external speakers to encourage employee discussion. These webinars signpost employees who seek additional support with each topic, to the EAP.
Finally, for employees who feel uncomfortable speaking about their experiences, in the employee webinars or to an EAP counsellor, Fujitsu have ensured resources are available digitally. In addition to their EAP’s online platform, they have recorded the #BECOMPLETELYYOU webinars and hosted them in an accessible library on the employee intranet. Lorna Hawkes (UK Benefits Manager, Fujitsu) explained that ‘webinars have been a fantastic tool because employees can listen to specific topics effecting them at a time when they need support. Exposure to the discussion helps to remove the sense of isolation and can give them confidence to seek support for themselves’.