One Way to Reduce Employee Absenteeism

If time is money, how do corporations reduce the amount of time that their employees miss from work, and in turn, make more money? In addressing this line of inquiry, Spetch, Howland, and Lowman investigated the relationship between the utilization of the employee assistance program (EAP) and absenteeism over a three-year period. In using an archival data set of EAP use by the 3,448 employees of a national Canadian company, it was found that those who utilized EAP services were absent more during they year that they sought assistance and had rates of absenteeism equal to those who did not seek services during the preceding and following years.

One explanation of this finding is that EAP services reduced absenteeism of employees who were struggling with personal, family, and work-related issues. During the year that the employees were struggling with these stressors, they were not able to attend work as much. After receiving EAP services, they were better able to cope with the various stresses of their lives and attend work on a more regular basis.

If EAP services are able to reduce employee absenteeism, businesses should take notice and provide adequate EAP services in order to ensure the mental health of their employees and the most possible revenue for the company.


Spetch, A., Howland, A., and Lowman, R. L. (2011). EAP utilization patterns and employee absenteeism: Results of an empirical, 3-year longitudinal study in a National Canadian Retail Corporation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 63, 110-128.

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