Internal marketing, employee perceptions and attitudes towards employee assistance programs and their utilization
Lubowa, Diana Margaret
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The effectiveness of an organisation is to a large extent dependent on the well-being of its staff. An Employee Assistance Program is designed to help employees manage issues of performance in the workplace. Employees manage the balance between work and personal pressures which have become increasingly part of daily life. Furthermore, the success of this program depends on the flexibility it has according to the ever-changing needs of employees, organisations and society. A case study for this research were four institutions; two banks and two corporative societies in Kampala. Specific objectives used included; assessing knowledge of EAP existence, evaluating access to and utilization of EAP Services, examining the EAP marketing strategies and assessing perceptions and attitudes towards EAP. This study employed qualitative research method which was used to assess the level of utilization of EAP as a function of internal marketing, perception and attitudes towards Employee Assistance Program. The information collection method used was interviewing employees who had accessed the services. Purposive Sampling techniques was used to select the respondents. The total population was 33 employees with a sample size of 30 respondents. An overall response rate was 100%. Key findings included those who had knowledge of EAPs at 14% and those that were aware at 86%. 6% had received information about EAPS while 94% had not, 83% vowed to join the EAPs while 17% were undecided and 100% was scored on assessing perception and attitude towards EAP utilisation and had a media of choice. The results indicated the majority of the staff component is aware of the EAP and they think that the EAP program is making an impact in the area. Respondents also felt that the status of the EAP program within the organisations must be improved for effective use. The results also indicated that the majority of the respondents acknowledged that the programs are very useful. Recommendation for the study is for organisations to treat workforce as assets rather than machines and are providing various benefits to the employees for their welfare, and this is done by providing counselling as well as other services so as to assist and provide guidance to employees on how to solve their personal and work related problems. For the recommendations, there is need to increase on the knowledge of EAP and also to improve it so employees get to know that the services exist at workplace.