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.