“There's never been a single piece of research that showed an EAP was a cost to an employer. At worst the return on investment is 1:1 but most employers see a higher return in terms of improved absence levels and productivity"

Eugene Farrell (March, 2009), Quoted in Corporate Advisor Magazine

“An EAP that is aligned with organizational values and vision will measurably enhance business operations, the overall employee experience, and the community perceptions of the company. A well-run EAP will provide a positive return on investment.”

EAP Workgroup (2007), National Business Group on Health

"For every dollar that an employer invests in an EAP, there will be a savings of anywhere from $5 to $16."

Department of Labor (1990), What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs

"For every dollar that an employer invests in an EAP, there will be a $3 savings; when employees are referred by their supervisors due to poor work performance, returns significantly increased to $13 for every dollar invested."

Masi Research Consultants, based on their study with the federal government, Merril Lynch  & Co. and the National Fire Protection Association

"The establishment of an EAP with emphasis on safety awareness saved one small company (70 employees) $75,000 by reducing its workers' compensation and vehicular accident costs."

Substance Abuse Prevention: It's Your Business: US Dept. of Health and Human Services (1992)

"A $2 - $8 return on every $1 spent for an EAP was reported in 1998 based on fewer accidents, less employee theft, less absences and/or higher productivity, lower health care and lower disability costs."

Goldstein, T. American Compensation News, February 1998


Absenteeism & Productivity Savings

There is much research on how EAP reduces absenteeism and increases productivity.

  • "Work loss was avoided in 60% of cases with an average savings of 17 hours per case"
  • "72% of these cases showed improved worker productivity with an average gain of 43%"

Attridge, M. (Aug. 2001) Presentation to the American Psychological Association, "Personal and Work Outcomes of Employee Assistance Services"


Retention & Reduced Turnover

There is much research on how EAP reduces turnover and related costs.

  • "A study of Chevron's EAP in 1992 found that there were 37% - 46% fewer terminations, with savings of $50,000 per case for avoided turnovers."

Stern (1990) Why EAPs are worth the investment. Business and Health, 14-19, Washington DC


Health Claim Savings

There is much research on how EAP reduces health care costs. The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans surveyed 185 benefit plan administrators about substance abuse services for multi-employer fund participants and reported:

  • "Reduced health plan costs for 66% of respondents"
  • "Reduced disability costs for 49% of those surveyed"
  • "Reduced workers' compensation costs for 41% of the respondents"

Dianas, C. (1996) EAP cost-benefit performance. EAP Exchange, May/June, 23-24.


How EAPs Provide Value

Leveraging the value of the organization's investment in its workforce

  • Encouraging employee engagement
  • Improving abilities to respond to everyday challenges of life
  • Offering short-term problem-resolution services or referrals to treatment when indicated
  • Developing competency in managing stress and improving team performance

Addressing the human cost of doing business

  • Reducing absenteeism and unplanned absences
  • Decreasing workplace accidents
  • Lowering turnover and related replacement costs
  • Facilitating return-to-work after accidents
  • Reducing healthcare costs
  • Improving investments in wellness, health promotion
  • Increasing efficiency in healthcare

Mitigating Business Risks

  • Reducing likelihood of workplace violence/safety risks
  • Managing the impact of violence, injury, crisis and facilitating a swift return-to-work after events
  • Supporting disaster recovery and preparedness and minimizing disruption after such events
  • Smoothing adjustments to business changes
  • Reducing likelihood of legal action or liability
  • Promoting/supporting drug- and alcohol-free workplace policies/procedures


  • Assists in emergency response
  • Bolsters morale
  • Improves relationships with customers and managers
  • Addresses inappropriate or dangerous behaviors
  • Trains and coaches managers to deal with complex emotional, cultural, and diversity issues

While much research has been done to calculate the exact Return on Investment for EAP, it is also important to consider the things that do not have a price. What is it worth to the company to keep a family together? What is it worth to the company to save an employee his/her job or his/her life? Or to help lift an employee or their family member out of drug addiction or alcoholism? When employees receive the help they need through an extension of their company, the gratitude that is demonstrated back to the company is incalculable.