EAPs in Australia – A deeper look into the industry’s growing demand
Written by Ray Sabharwal
Edited by Priyanka Agarwal
Did you know? The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services industry is projected to continue growing strongly over the next five years.
Given the increase in the number of people working from home, working under stress, or having their work hours drastically reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are expected to require EAP services from the industry. This demand becomes a promising opportunity for service providers in Australia, where technology is vast and advanced, and can support the flexibility needed at these times. The majority of EAP firms are continuing to offer their services remotely, via phone, online video calls, or online discussions. Additional information services are also being leveraged, such as blogs, podcasts, and online resources.
What is the demand really like for EAPs?
The majority of EAPs in Australia are used by larger private companies as well as the government sector. Small and medium companies and institutions account for the smaller portion of demand.
43% of EAPs are geared towards workplace issues, 36% towards personal issues, while 14% of services are used for family issues and the remaining 7% is allocated towards corporate training and courses.
While the industry is currently sitting at a healthy profit margin of 20.8%, here are some trends to keep in mind if you’re an EAP organisation, according to IBIS World.
- Industry firms need to show clients a return on investment to ensure continued or repeat business
- Steady growth in employee numbers across the economy has increased the number of industry clients
- Increased industry competition and rising wage costs have reduced profit margins
- Industry firms promoting their services to smaller potential client companies will drive demand
- Revenue from the government sector is anticipated to decline over the next five years
- Firms are projected to develop new ways to stay in contact with clients and provide assistance
- Industry demand has increased, with services found to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism
Keys to Success
There are a few key success factors outlined by IBIS World for EAPs in Australia.
Firstly, flexibility is everything. Increase your organisation’s ability to provide services in diverse locations at any time, within short notice. Providers that can support diverse geographic regions are typically in a good position to increase client numbers and revenue. Also, vary your services to suit different needs. Companies that can provide EAP services at short notice to meet a variety of client needs, such as for trauma counselling or following a major natural disaster, are more likely to develop a good reputation in the market.
Secondly, improve your access to highly skilled workers. Industry firms that employ skilled and experienced workplace counsellors, psychologists and consultants are more likely to provide sound advice and satisfy their clients’ needs. This will allow firms to retain existing clients and gain new ones.
Finally, incorporate a diverse range of clients. To address any slowdown in a particular sector and maintain smooth cash and business flows, EAP organisations need to provide services to a range of clients across various industry sectors.
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