All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Laura Talbott-Forbes

Advisory Committee Members

Paulette P Dilworth

Anne V Hilbers

Tami M Long

Scott Snyder

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


Background: Gallup (2013) reported that 30% of the U.S. workforce was not engaged in their work which means they were not reaching their full potential or productivity level. For organizations, lost productivity due to absenteeism or less than ideal performance at work impacts company performance and bottom line. Employee assistance programs are a resource to help increase employee health, productivity, and satisfaction through counseling interventions. Methods: Data were collected by a large urban university EAP over a 20-month period. The analysis was limited to EAP clients over the age of 18. A total of 866 subjects participated in this study, who met the criteria. The total response rate was 14.9%. Paired t-tests, ANOVA F test, and a two-way ANOVA were used to compute the results. Results: Clients reported an increase in presenteeism and work engagement after the intervention which was anticipated. Unexpectedly, analysis of the pre and post survey revealed an increase in hours absent due to a personal problem taking the employee away from work in the last 30 days and there was also an increase in workplace distress scores after the counseling intervention which was not expected. Examining life satisfaction before and after counseling intervention, there was no significant change. There was a significant difference in absenteeism based on gender and job types; further analysis showed that absenteeism significantly improved by 14.7% in females but there was no improvement in males. For presenteeism, the analysis also showed significant mean difference across age groups and workplaces. For presenteeism, workplace distress and life satisfaction, there was significant mean difference between females and males stratified by primary issue. Conclusion: The results of this study showed slight improvement in some work productivity outcomes, but not all. The outcomes that did not improve were surprising, but after further analysis of frequency data there was improvement segments of the study population. There were several limitations that likely contributed to the outcomes. Additional research is recommended with a larger sample size to determine the effects of EAP counseling on improved work effectiveness across employee demographics, job types, and work entities.

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