Supervisors - Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most difficult jobs for many supervisors is confronting an employee about problem behavior. You may have to deal with employee absenteeism, tardiness, and conflict with co-workers or suspected substance abuse. You may be aware that an employee is having personal problems that appear to be affecting work performance. The best training cannot prepare you to meet every challenge. Your employee Assistance Program is available to help you to deal with the troubled employee.

When would I use a Formal Supervisory Referral?


  1. When a work performance problem has been identified and corrective or disciplinary action has been implemented. Usually the referral is made when the Supervisor has counseled the employee but the behavior has not improved.
  2. When an employee has failed an alcohol or drug test, depending on your employer's policy. Employees may be referred for assessment, referral and case management.
Some common examples of unsatisfactory performance are:
  • Inconsistent productivity
  • Poor quality of work
  • Frequent tardiness
  • Excessive sick leave
  • Missed deadlines
  • Irritability/anger with co-workers or customers


How do I make a referral?


Before making a formal management referral, we encourage supervisors to take advantage of the supervisor consultations that are offered through the EAP. When supervisors call for consultations, a consultant will help the supervisor achieve the detachment and objectivity needed to take constructive action. For consultations, the supervisor should be preferred to discuss job performance deficiencies and negative behavior.

A consultation does not commit the supervisor to any action, and the discussion of the case will remain confidential.

Please call EAP Preferred if you would like a supervisor consultation or if you have any questions about this process. You can also visit Management Referrals (insert link to that page) for more information and our updated forms.