I worked as an employee assistance professional for more than a decade, so I am well aware of the many positive things that EAPs do in the workplace. I stress this point because some of what follows may seem a bit harsh. However, since I’ve been on “both sides of the highway” so to speak, I believe I offer a useful perspective as both sides seek to meet at the intersection that will lead to a partnership and alliance between HR and EAP.
Even with a vast background in organizational development and management, the realities of human resource needs in business escaped me.
I know this intersection exists, but it isn’t visible and so I don’t know which sign to follow. I see EAP Drive, and then I notice HR Path. But I’m still not seeing an intersection.
In 2005, I switched from EAP to HR. Looking back, I realize that as an EA professional, while I had a great command and working knowledge of human resources, in actuality that’s all it was .. a working knowledge. Even with a vast background in organizational development and management, the realities of human resource needs in business escaped me.
It’s a safe bet that these needs escape many EA professionals. There’s an urgent need to find the intersection where HR and EAP meet, and make sure it’s well marked.
NEXT TIME: Assessing, not just selling
Norma Montagnino-Gemza will soon be retiring from her position as the Human Resource Director at JAY-K Independent Lumber Corp., in New Hartford, NY. She is also a former CEAP. Editor’s note: A version of this article will be appearing in Employee Assistance Report – http://www.impact-publications.com