Front Desk - Journal of Employee Assistance Vol. 48 no. 1 - 1st Quarter 2018

Staying Relevant in Today’s Business World

By Maria Lund, LEAP, CEAP


According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 22 percent of firms “did virtually nothing” to prepare their employees to live overseas. According to Nancy Board, co-author of this issue’s cover story, it doesn’t matter whether you operate in an internal or external EAP, your expertise in providing solutions for difficult workplace problems is worthy of notice to HR and other senior officials for their expats and other business travelers.

Companies that do business overseas are under increasing pressure to provide Duty of Care protection for their traveling employees. Since many EAPs already offer Critical Incident Response (CIR) services, Nancy suggests asking HR and other corporate leaders how your EAP can get involved in assisting traveling employees. In an often-dangerous and complex world, the EAP is in a perfect position to help.

“Is Your EAP Endangered or Enduring?” asks Don Jorgensen in a thought-provoking feature article. Don describes how all organizations operate along a “relevance curve”, and proposes that each business must assess itself to determine how relevant it is to its customers.   In any area where it might be lacking, the EAP must take action to switch gears or to re-tool in order for the business to endure.

Suicide is trending up across the globe and EAPs are focused on how to assist in prevention and response.   Sally Spencer-Thomas, psychologist and survivor of suicide loss, describes state-of-the-art suicide prevention interventions that EA professionals can help implement in the workplace.

Most of us are aware of the changes that technology, work-life balance, and other factors are having on today’s rapidly evolving workplaces. But what benefits trends are these changes driving? Tim Mutrie describes the innovative benefits that ACI Specialty Benefits offers for its EAP clients.

Elsewhere in this issue, Jim Wrich, one of the original “Thundering 100”, picks up where he left off in the last Journal in describing more important developments and milestones in EAP history. Watch for the conclusion of this three-part series in the 2nd Quarter JEA.

This issue marks the return of a legal column in the Journal by Robin Sheridan, JD, MILHR. In her first column, Robin presents recommendations for EA professionals who have questions about FMLA policies and procedures.

Finally, John Maynard and Mark Attridge offer important insights and observations in their respective columns. (Jeff Harris and Marina London will return in the next JEA.)