Role of Human Resources & Employee Assistance Programs
In consultation with workplace stakeholders, a company’s Human Resources department can take responsibility for the development and dissemination of policies specific to domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Human Resources can also take the lead in training supervisors and employers in appropriate responses to co-workers who may be experiencing violence, and liaise with local services providers to enhance trainings and refer potential victims/survivors.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide confidential support services on a wide range of issues that can impact individual employees as well as a company’s bottom line. In addition to helping individuals navigate through a wide array of challenges, EAPs may help employers develop company-wide preventative infrastructure.
Many EAPs already offer domestic violence and sexual violence counseling and education as a part of comprehensive health and wellness centered portfolios of employer services, which in many cases translates to a considerable return on investment for the employer in lower health care costs, fewer absences, fewer accidents, and longer retention.
ValueOptions, a national provider of managed behavioral health and EAP services, operates a domestic violence initiative that helps employers develop a domestic violence prevention and response program and provides the tools and resources, including:
- A presentation to enlist senior management support, suggestions for building a cross-functional workgroup, sample policies, and guidance in crafting a communication strategy;
- Work-site training sessions, articles, tip sheets, posters, intranet graphics, sample e-mail messages, and a sample timeline; and
- Special training for EAPs to raise awareness of domestic violence when they conduct detailed assessments, facilitate linkages with available resources, and provide counseling and support.
For more information visit the Employee Assistance Society of North America at www.EASNA.org.