Peer Support Programs For Businesses

May 22 2017

The well-being of an employee is a key concern for the business organization that has hired him. Peer support programs are a step in this direction as they encourage self-care and encourage the employees to reach out for help whenever needed. Also, such programs are a great platform for transferring knowledge and exchanging valuable business inputs.

A peer support program is based on the approach that every individual undergoes a certain level of stress at various points in his life. At such a time, the support of peers is required for providing a sense of calm and giving relief from distress. The peers in a peer support group are friends who are adequately trained to provide social and emotional assistance.

Peer-based programs are empowering for the participants to a great extent. Since peers are an effective mode for dispersing knowledge, skills and awareness; they encourage their colleagues to participate in various activities. These activities are designed in a manner that assists in information exchange within the peer social group.

Setting up a peer support system for a business organization:

  • Initiating a peer support program in any business organization requires a lot of effort and systematic planning. Following is a brief outline of the steps involved in forming a peer support group:
  • The support of management and top level sources is required
  • A committee comprising of stakeholders across the organization is made
  • A Program Coordinator is chosen as the leader who can maintain schedules and organize recruitment as well
  • A designated mental health professional is assigned the task of providing consultation and guidance to the peer members
  • Recruitment of peer support members from every level and area of operation within the business organization is done
  • Imparting essential training skills to peer supporters and designing framework for interaction is the last step

Benefits of peer support programs for businesses:

Peer support programs have a lot of advantages to offer for the employees and eventually the business organization. Physically and mentally-fit employees have increased productivity levels that is beneficial for the organization in the longer run.

Some of the benefits of peer support programs for businesses are listed below:

  • Empowers the participants to take the ownership of their well-being
  • Encourages peers to participate in activities that help in transferring knowledge and experience
  • Young people can openly talk to their peers regarding professional or personal advice
  • People or groups who feel isolated can get a platform to learn and interact that can have a positive influence on their behavior and attitude
  • Negative perceptions and experiences can be corrected with the assistance or peer support groups
  • Assists in overall personality development
  • With a proper financial outlay, a peer support program can prove to be a cost-effective method for an organization as well as its employees