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Guidelines for Supervisors

Performance issues are challenging for supervisors and employees alike. It’s hard to tell someone that problems are jeopardizing their job, and even harder for an employee to accept that personal issues have become so serious.

But good can come from this difficult situation. Confronting performance issues while offering a source of help, such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), can motivate employees to seek change, improving their health, wellbeing and productivity

When to recommend the FSAP

At one time or another, everyone has ‘off’ days at work, but if an employee who’s usually effective begins displaying one or more warning signs, consider a referral to the FSAP.

Look for: declining job performance; chronic absenteeism; frequent tardiness; changes in work relationships; frequent or careless accidents; poor concentration; hostility; or withdrawn behavior.

FSAP staff will listen, help clarify issues, offer referrals for ongoing assistance and treatment, and encourage clients to follow through with strategies to resolve the problem.

Do's and don'ts

Don’t:
• try to diagnose the problem.

• discuss the problem with anyone except the employee, your supervisor, Human Resources or FSAP staff.

Do:
• address the issue as soon as possible. Most problems continue to deteriorate unless confronted; early referral provides a better chance for a successful outcome.

Referrals

Meet privately with the employee to discuss your concerns. Explain the FSAP’s services, and provide contact information, then plan a follow-up meeting to evaluate progress. Afterward, call the FSAP to let the staff know about the referral and the reasons for it.

Making an FSAP appointment is up to the employee. Program participation is voluntary, not a condition of employment. Progress should be measured by improved work performance.

Appointments

Employees may use work-release time for FSAP appointments, with their supervisor's prior approval; offering this time is an important way to support your employee. Work-release time may not be used for appointments with outside providers which the FSAP may refer the employee to.

Confidentiality

The FSAP maintains strict confidentiality; records are completely separate from medical or personnel files and no information is released without the employee’s written permission, except where subject to mandatory disclosure laws regarding child abuse, danger to self or others, or court order.

Consultation and training

The FSAP offers individual consultations to help you manage a difficult employee situation or refer a specific employee to the program. Group trainings are available for supervisors on topics including alcohol and other drug issues, and the FSAP referral process. Staff can also speak to employee groups, offering problem management tips and explaining the FSAP’s services.

Contacting the FSAP

The FSAP is on the ground floor of University Health Services, 150 Infirmary Way. Call (413) 545-0350 for information, appointments or to schedule a presentation.