(Questions and guidance are consistent with the EAP CIR Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach)
Somewhere during the time of holiday anticipation and post celebrations, year-end budgetary analysis, and the excitement of delivering a successful EAP campaign for 2024, is the review of your EAP CIR service, its successes and the gaps that presented themselves. Engaging in this process is consistent with the Resilience Continuum Model presented in the MSRA training. Briefly, it is encouraged that after an incident and the return to routine is restored, that the systems involved in the response evaluate their processes, strengths, gaps and lessons learned to apply to future interventions. In this way CIR improves and evolves. The same is true on the macro level for EAPs. EAP, 1 of 4 response systems involved in CIR, need to evaluate their CIR program over the year to determine how delivery can be improved and that the service remains resilient. Programs themselves, not to mention staff, can get tired and trauma avoidant if it isn’t refueled.
This check list is meant to raise your awareness of the attention needed and questions to ask to keep your EAP CIR program ready and robust.
Foremost is the discussion on what your intervention meant to employees and organizations. How at that particular point in time, your EAP made a difference in how employees and organizations faired through it. Try not to minimize or underestimate how you have made a difference. Review each one. This is more than just tallying numbers* and reading surveys. First, consider the perspective of each system involved in the incident- EAP organization, Client organization, Employee/member, onsite CIR professional.
Use your data and discussion to review the life of a call (request for CIR services) that enters your EAP CIR workflow.
How streamlined is your operation? CIR calls can enter in a variety of ways depending on your EAP model.
Is it successfully moving through the established workflow, beginning to end?
Where does it get snagged or diverted?
What situations arose that took it out of the routine workflow and required an alternative, perhaps more collaborative process?
When additional personnel are involved with the CIR request, are they also trained in EAP CIR? For instance, account managers, sales personnel, in-house clinicians may be the first to know about the request and be asked to speak to it. Can they?
What is the average number of onsite hours requested vs delivered?
How do you account for the discrepancy?
How does this compare to the recommended 4 and/or 8 hours shifts
Have there been any ethical dilemmas your EAP was faced with when delivering CIR? These need to be worked through as they will reoccur.
Do you have the right professionals for the right job? Not everyone feels comfortable with CIR.
What is your plan for when an incident is local to your EAP and EAP employees are also impacted?
Complaint Resolution- what has been implemented to course correct negative feedback.
What types of complaints have repeated?
What is your standing with the organization who complained? How is this being remedied?
How many pre-incident trainings has your EAP delivered?
Were you able to successfully deliver Virtual CIR services? What were/are the challenges?
Are handouts being accessed?
Is your pricing model for CIR profitable?
If your pricing is based on allotted hours, are they being used, running out or bundled into other services?
*The industry tends to evaluate CIR success by the number of attendees in groups and individuals. This is more of measure of impact and successful communications. Conversely, low or even 0 attendance may be an indication of poorly communicated services and/or a low impact, highly resilient employee base which EAP presence contributed to. (Wilson 1995)
Does the client organization seem to know what is expected on their end?
Available for responding to assessment-based questions?
Display reasonable awareness of the EAP CIR service and process?
Send out communications about onsite services?
Provide access to handouts and brochures?
Do they include the necessary leadership applicable to the incident?
Are they including the EAP in their corporate briefings?
Are they actively following up after onsite services?
Have there been any inappropriate requests (outside the boundaries of EAP CIR)
Are they aware of organizational gaps that interfere with resilience building?
If their workforce has a high degree of CI risk, are their pre-incident plans implemented that include the EAP?
Are there organizations within your book of business who have not contacted you for CIR services? Do you know why?
Do employees feel they were adequately notified about EAP CIR services?
Were services accessible to all employees?
Were employees required to attend or mandated?
Did employees feel safe at the location of the services?
Were resources made available to family members? Employees on leave?
What personal attributes were commonly displayed?
Did the interventions meet employee needs?
Did the onsite professional adequately shape the interventions in real time while onsite, was passively compliant with the established interventions, or disregarded them altogether?
Did the onsite professional have regular contact with leadership?
Based on your EAP model:
Inhouse EAP Onsite (EAP staff member)
Does this EAP employee like this kind of work? Do they volunteer to go onsite or usually prefer to work the back office?
Does this employee set appropriate boundaries between their traditional EAP work/role and CIR work when onsite?
Would you call upon this provider to deliver CIR services for you again?
Did this provider operate within the EAP mission?
Was this provider trained in the same EAP CIR model?
Did this provider have the flexibility within their schedule to meet the need of the crisis?
Was their rate acceptable?
Have you recognized outstanding performance to enhance further partnering?
Did this provider arrive on time?
Did this provider understand the EAP product?
Was the coordination of this provider efficient?
Relayed assessment and intervention information.
Have an adequate contact process to reach onsite as needed.
Was their rate acceptable?
Were they accessible during the incident? By EAP, Organizational leadership, employees/members?
Were they flexible in delivery of services and time availability?
Were they asked back for future incidents?
Any boundary concerns?
Did they adequately represent the EAP mission and your brand?
Was the summary information, post incident, sufficient for your EAP CIR services?
For Hybrid and Internal EAP models, there is a greater expectation that EAP services be tailored to workplace cultures. Does the EAP CIR service offer the flexibility to achieve this?
These questions are designed to get your team talking about the response and provide some guidance on target areas for improvement. It is not an exhausted list.
Critical Incident Response is not a service that one can phone in or farm out. It is an intense, and highly visible service. Lives may have been lost, lifestyles permanently altered, businesses harmed. Be committed to getting this right.
EAP CIR Multi-Sytemic Resiliency Approach
2/8/24 and 2/9/24
9-12; 1-4:30 EST