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Referral Guidance for Leaders

Supervisors are in unique positions to help employees whose work may be affected by personal problems, as we are all impacted at times in our lives. These concerns can affect employees' relationships and performance at work and at home. The earlier that work problems are addressed, the sooner the employee will get the resources and support needed to live and work more productively. 
1. Show care and concern to the employee. Base a referral on observed behavior, such as frequent tearfulness, outbursts, or avoidance of others at work. Avoid making assumptions about what’s causing behavior or trying to diagnose the employee. 
2. Balance concern with accountability. When there is a performance concern, be honest, clear and firm—and respectful.  EAP referrals are most successful when the approach is balanced with genuine care and accountability.
3. Separate EAP referral from disciplinary action. A referral is not disciplinary and should not be viewed as a substitute for progressive discipline. 
4. Do not attempt to require use of EAP Work/Life Counseling, which is a voluntary program. Whether or not an employee follows through with a referral, a supervisor should continue to monitor and document job performance, take action necessary to provide accountability, and attempt to motivate the employee to correct the behavior. 
5. EAP referrals should never be referenced in an employee’s performance evaluation. EAP referral is an employer’s offer of help, it is not a measure of an employee’s poor performance.

Support for the supervisor

The EAP’s internal Organizational Health team is a valuable resource for leaders with concerns about behavior in the workplace. We can help sort out complex and sensitive workplace issues, provide coaching and language for specific situations, and offer techniques and direction to ensure a healthy, productive resolution. The earlier you contact a consultant the greater likelihood for success.  EAP’s Organizational Health consultants can be reached at 651-259-3841 or email the Organizational Health team.
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