The Disabled Workforce: Increase the Impact of Your EAP

DMEC Staff@Work

How to Increase the Impact of Your EAP

By Rachel Shaw, MBA

CEO and Principal
Shaw HR Consulting

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports depression alone is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. Nearly one in five American adults experiences mental health problems in any given year,1 with employees suffering from depression reporting the equivalent of 27 missed work days per year. Across the country, organizations are experiencing a rise in accommodation requests and performance and attendance issues related to stress and mental health. This all equates to lost productivity and less innovation in our organizations. Today, too much leave goes unmanaged, tolerated, and simply not budgeted for.

What then, is an employer to do with our disabled workforce? The often-prevailing attitude of “treating mental health is not our job” is not working, and the leaves are costing our organizations too much. Too many human resource (HR) departments have divested or underinvested in the “whole employee.” If you expect to tackle the real killers of productivity, innovation, and retention, you must build a workforce that has the ability to successfully struggle through issues — both personal and professional — and that believes you care.

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