As a result, employee assistance programmes (EAPs), designed to deal specifically with these somewhat “intangible” problems, are standard in big companies in the US and the UK - 90% of Fortune 500 and 78% of UK companies offer EAP services - and they are catching on fast in South Africa. EAPs are designed to provide counselling and support for a range of issues that staff face in their private or home lives, issues that have been shown to significantly negatively affect absenteeism and performance at work.
An EAP is only as effective in reducing behavioural risk as its interventions are appropriate to the client population it is serving. And appropriate interventions can only be offered when the EAP provider has a knowledge of the total risk profile of the company it is serving. Useful insights into behavioural risk can be obtained from utilisation data, but these only reflect the risk profile of those who are using the service. Utilisation data are inadequate to behavioural risk profile for the organisation as a whole.
Behavioural risk assessment is the process of analysing the areas of greatest comparative strength and weakness in an organisation, understanding the relationships that drive these factors and providing data-driven guidance to the provision of the most appropriate preventive and remedial interventions.
The Pulse Behavioural Risk Management Audit has been used in more than 40 medium-sized and large southern African organisations. It provides a detailed assessment of the work-related, emotional, family, financial and lifestyle health of a company’s staff, allowing the compilation of a three-dimensional picture of the overall well-being of the workforce. The Pulse Audit allows human resources professionals to keep a finger on the pulse of their most valuable asset.