Employee Assistance Program is there to help you

Pay Wyss (left) and Tony Hansen from King County's Employee Assistance Program

Pay Wyss (left) and Tony Hansen from King County’s Employee Assistance Program

Best-Run GovernmentSometimes workplace issues get to us. Whether it’s stress, a performance issue, conflict with a coworker or any other type of workplace problem, the Employee Assistance Program is there for all King County employees to use.

“We’re on-site, in-house. We’re here for you to deal with work issues,” said Tony Hansen, one of the County’s EAP councilors along with Pam Wyss. “We know the internal resources that we can guide you to and we can help facilitate.”

EAP is an in-house resource available to all King County employees that offers tangible strategies and useful resources to resolve workplace problems.

Hansen and Wyss are King County employees themselves, giving them first-hand knowledge and understanding of the unique sets of issues that can affect King County employees.

“We’re unionized; we’re right in the midst of it. We have empathy for it,” Hansen said.

Some problems EAP helps resolve include conflict with other employees or communication issues. If an employee has a performance appraisal they’re unhappy with, EAP can help the employee utilize improvement techniques to do better on the next review.

“An employee may get a performance appraisal that wasn’t up to snuff. Maybe their probation was extended or they just didn’t get the scores they thought they would. They can come to us and we can strategize what to do in order to do better on the next review,” Hansen said.

The program can also connect people to valuable County resources like alternative dispute services or disability services. EAP’s ultimate goal is to promote a positive work environment and to help increase efficiency in the workplace.

It’s also about partnership, partnering with employees to achieve a more harmonious and productive workplace. In recognition of the great work EAP did for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Hansen was awarded the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office partner of the year in 2013.

Hansen said sometimes employees are wary of contacting EAP because they’re fearful EAP will talk to their manager, but Wyss and Hansen maintain strict confidentiality.

“I think that employees have the perception that we’ll immediately talk to their managers after they use EAP and that’s not the case. We abide by confidentiality that can’t release that information unless we’re given written permission from the employee to do so,” Hansen said.

To learn about the EAP program, click here.

To start utilizing the EAP program, contact Pam Wyss at 206-477-0631 or Pamela.Wyss@kingcounty.gov or Tony Hansen at 206-477-0632 or tony.hansen@kingcounty.gov.