Group Moves to Boost Productivity in Organisations

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Obinna Chima

Members of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) have stressed the need for employers and employees in the country to embrace Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in order to boost productivity in the country.

The President of Nigeria Branch of Employee Assistance Professionals Association, EAPA, Dr. Marcel Nwaogu said this in Lagos during a press briefing on the upcoming national conference of the association.

Founded in Los Angeles, USA, in 1971, EAPA is a workplace programme designed to assist work organisations in addressing productivity issues, and employees in identifying and resolving personal concerns, including health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress, or other personal issues that may affect job performance. Today, EAPA has branches in 40 countries of the world, including Nigeria, which began in 2012.

Nwaogu said the focus of EAP is to increase employees’ productivity, efficiency, stability, engagement, loyalty, financial awareness among many other benefits.

According to him, the EAP has grown over the years to become the world’s number one economic human resource tool and benefits. He, however, expressed dissatisfaction that a lot of firms in the country were yet to engage behavioral scientists.

“In Nigeria, 99 per cent of the organisations do not have EAPA advisers. The less than one per cent that have EAPAs are multinationals. If there is no organisation that needs EAPA, the banking sector is one that really needs it.

“In advanced countries, most corporations have Employee Assistants who are medical doctors, psychologists, social welfare workers, behaviouralscientists and others, who provide the needed socio-psychological support to workers, in a confidential manner, enabling them to achieve fulfillment in the workplace, while giving their best to the organisation,” he added.

Nwaogu explained that while many countries across the world have successfully used Employee Assistance Program to boost productivity of their workforce resulting into significant growth in national productivity, the situation was different in Nigeria.

He said that the conference, which has the theme, ‘Productivity and Employee Wellbeing in Recession and Insurgency,” which comes up in Lagos this month, will be addressed by notable personalities including the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, who will deliver the keynote address; Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole; and international executive of EAPA to be led by the President, Lucy Henry.

Also speaking, the Chairperson of the 2017 Conference Organising Committee, Dr. ChinonyeNwankwo, said the conference was expected to host over 500 delegates drawn from various sectors of the economy, including Oil & Gas, Health, Banking & Finance, Telecoms, the academia and public sector.

She said: “There will be case studies in addition to several lectures and panel sessions to be chaired and facilitated by prominent names from the Corporate Human Resources Community in addition to Medical and Occupational Health Practitioners. Students of several major universities across Nigeria are also expected to attend the two-day conference. Highlights, conclusions and agreements from the conference are expected to be collated and submitted to the Ministry of Labourand Productivity for inclusion as contributions being assembled to support the consideration for the Occupational Health bill pending before the national assembly.”