EAP: A Valuable Tool for Managers

When mental health and substance abuse issues are present in the workplace, managers deserve a strong Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help with these challenges. Managers are faced with difficult “people issues” every day. Managers have the privilege and responsibility to offer a helping hand and guidance to employees who are struggling.

What managers can do:

  • Observe and document employee performance, both the good and bad.
  • Notice changes in performance, appearance, attitude and behavior.
  • Give regular feedback about your observations.
  • Follow-up on a regular basis until the employee is back on track.

How to approach someone:

  • Emphasize the value you see in your employee’s work.
  • Share your observations about how the employee’s behavior has changed.
  • Give the employee time to process what you are saying and provide a perspective about what has happened.
  • Use phrases like “tell me more about…” or “how so?” to try and gain understanding.
  • Refer the employee to the EAP and don’t forget to mention that the services are free and confidential.

Remember that the EAP is a helpful resource for almost any everyday issue or life changing event. EAP counselors can help you, as a manager, prepare for a conversation with an employee.

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