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frequent tardiness; changes in work relationships; frequent or careless accidents; poor concentration; hostility; or withdrawn behavior.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.


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


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


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.

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

Location and Hours:

219 Hampshire House
131 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

By Appointment: Call (413) 545-0350

Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM