“I know supervisors can’t get involved in employees’ personal problems, but if this is the EAP’s expertise, what else can they discuss with supervisors? I don’t tend to think about the EAP in any other way. Am I missing something?”
Although employee assistance programs are primarily known for helping employees resolve personal problems, they were originally fashioned to be equally available to supervisors for consulting on conduct and behavioral issues of employees. Strategies for managing and arranging a super-visor referral, as well as post-referral guidance, are also valuable ser-vices. These services are often under-promoted because many employees mistakenly view them as being aligned with management. Of course, this EAP role does help employees and is complementary to an EAP’s direct service functions. Nevertheless, many supervisors don’t recall the avail-ability of these services when they could be most helpful. Every em-ployee referred by a supervisor has his or her own unique set of circum-stances, so a supervisory consultation with the EAP prior to referral can help ensure follow-through. This concern with helping both employees and supervisors is what gives EAPs the reputation of being “pro-people, pro-organization.”
Article provided by “Frontline Supervisor” UTEP Employe Assistance Program. For more information on UTEP EAP, please visit our Employee Assistance Program website.