Manage Tough Workplace Situations — For Supervisors

Maintain a healthy and productive workplace by identifying employee issues early and by speaking with your Employee Assistance (EA) consultant before the problem gets worse.

Manage Tough Workplace Situations

Personal and/or professional issues sometimes interfere with an employee’s ability to be efficient and productive. As a manager, you may be the first to notice a change in an employee’s work pattern. It may not be drastic enough to disrupt your work, but significant enough to get your attention. In the past, you might have overlooked this behavior, thinking things would improve. But now that you are noticing these behaviors more, the problem may becoming too much to put off.  And maybe you have noticed that the remainder of the work team is being affected. If you're not sure whether you should intervene in a situation, think about those staff members negatively impacted by what is going on, the impact it is having on you, and the impact it is having on the affected employee. You can actually help the person with the situation by intervening. Learn how Employee Assistance can help. 

Referring Employees to EAP

Referring employees with performance problems to Employee Assistance gives them an opportunity to resolve personal and professional difficulties before they seriously affect job performance. It also helps identify employees whose problems may indicate serious underlying factors, that left unresolved, may worsen.

Early intervention

The sooner a problem is dealt with, the sooner it is resolved. Contact Employee Assistance at any sign of a problem.

Given our focus on prevention and early identification, you – the manager – are key to your success. If you refer the staff person to EAP, you increase the likelihood of getting a positive outcome, as the employee receives the needed helpful assistance, you regain a productive employee, and your work team can perform effectively again. If you would like assistance or ideas on how to refer an employee to EAP, you may sign up for our “EAP Tools for Supervisors” class (held on campus each semester), or you may contact an EA consultant for individualized assistance.

Faculty and staff cannot be mandated to meet with EAP, because employee participation is voluntary. Participation in employee assistance is confidential, as only the employee and the EA consultant will know of the employee’s participation. Unless authorized by the employee, you will not be informed of the individual’s involvement with EAP.  Neither employment, permanence, nor tenure status will be affected by involvement with EAP. Due to the private nature of EAP-Employee communications, information about an employee’s participation in EAP is not placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Other Opportunities to Manage Tough Workplace Situations

EAP Supervisory Training

Learn how to handle challenging and stressful workplace situations in a half-day workshop that helps build confidence and compassion. Learn more about Tools for Supervisors : Helping You Manage the Tough Issues which is offered on campus each semester (or bi-annually).

  • Customized Workshops For Workplace Concerns

    Obtain a training customized to the needs of your department or work-group. Popular workshops include:

    • Improving communication
    • Defusing conflict
    • Improving office climate
    • Managing stress
    • Supervisory skills to manage tough issues

Contact an Expert

We all need support sometimes. For confidential consultation or 1-on-1 meetings at no charge to you, referrals to specialists, and/or general information on how to help yourself or others manage personal and/or work-related concerns, please reach out to us.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Phone: 716-645-4461


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