Original Research

Strategic positioning of EAP in South African workplaces

M. G. Matlhape
Acta Commercii | Vol 3, No 1 | a40 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v3i1.40 | © 2003 M. G. Matlhape | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2003 | Published: 05 December 2003

About the author(s)

M. G. Matlhape, Wits Health, South Africa

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Abstract

Two phenomena are having a profound effect on management and industry in the 21st century. The first one is the increasing rate and depth of competition locally, regionally, and globally, and the consequent increase in focus on achieving competitiveness by companies. The second phenomenon is the increasing appreciation of the importance of employees in assisting the company to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Employee Assistance Programmes have been used as part of the business strategy to enhance employee functioning, loyalty, and performance in organisations around the world for a good part of the 20th century. In South Africa this service did not gain much momentum until the 1980. Despite the growth of EAP in South Africa, however, in most cases it still remains on the periphery of real business activities and is often regarded as a "nice to have" rather than as a business imperative. The location of EAP within a company is very important in determining its impact within the organisation. Because of EAPs capacity to impact on both individual employees and the organisation as its primary client, it has potential to make a great impact in organisations' business processes, where these interface with individual output and wellbeing. A service-profit-chain model was introduced as a link between employee satisfaction and company profitability. This article gives an in-depth focus on EAP and the important role it can play in achieving employee satisfaction.

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