Proof positive: a flourishing team makes a flourishing business.

Two chance conversations this month have driven home to me the value our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers hospitality operators looking to keep employees healthy, happy and work-ready, and improve productivity.

Attending a recent industry event, I introduced myself as the manager of HA’s EAP to the gentleman sitting next to me. It turned out that he was a Head Chef from one of our subscribing companies and was full of praise for the way that the EAP had helped members of his kitchen brigade dealing with mental health and addiction issues. Ultimately ensuring these valued members of his team remained in employment.

A couple of days later a potential client called me, asking him how he’d heard about the EAP he explained that a new team member had been supported by the EAP at his previous establishment receiving counselling and a grant and had therefore recommended that his new employer should sign up to the programme asap!

Both of these conversations really brought home to me the true value of the support and advice provided by the programme to individual employees who may be struggling with a wide variety of pressures at home or work. Pressures that do impact mental health and in turn, the way people do their jobs resulting in reduced performance, lack of focus and absence. These, in turn, can lead to lost productivity and significant cost to employers.

As the recent independent Stevenson-Farmer review into mental health at work reported around 15 out of every 100 people at work have an existing mental health condition and over 300,000 people with a long-term mental health condition lose their job. This is a much higher rate than for people with a physical health condition. When you consider this alongside the current recruitment challenges faced by the hospitality industry, it seems to me that supporting employee’s mental health and wellbeing should be a top priority for every employer.

Since launching the EAP just over four years ago, HA has built up a wealth of knowledge about the challenges facing those who work in our industry and whether it’s an issue with drugs, alcohol, gambling, depression, anxiety, stress, illness, lack of work/life balance or financial pressure, we can help.

We offer a raft of services including a 24/7 helpline, access to personal counselling, legal guidance, addiction support, debt advice, parenting helpline, and whistleblowing – all for an annual cost of just £5 + vat per employee. This spring, we’ll be augmenting our EAP with the addition of an online employee benefits platform and access to a range of health cash plans. Uniquely among EAP providers, should a hardship grant be required by any recipients of EAP support, we’re also able to point them towards HA’s grant-giving team, for consideration for further support.

So why not find out more about how your team can benefit from the support the EAP already offers to almost 200 companies and over 110,000 hospitality people?