All supervisors and managers are encouraged to use the EAP as a resource, for themselves and for their employees. Supervisors are in a key position to advise employees of help available to them through the EAP. Our EAP staff can consult with supervisors on the best methods to inform and refer employees who may benefit from EAP services.

The Supervisor’s Role
The supervisor or manager is the key to success for any employee assistance program. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to recognize work performance issues, to observe personal behaviors, which may predict future job performance problems and to respond appropriately. Here are general guidelines to follow:


  • Focus on job performance
  • Document specifics
  • Explain the EAP clearly and simply
  • Offer the EAP as an option, not as a definite command (in cases where employees are not being mandated to EAP)


  • Try to diagnose the problem
  • Discuss personal problems at length
  • Speak in general terms about employee’s performance
  • Take responsibility for solving the employee’s problems

Q. When should a supervisor call the EAP?
A. A supervisor should call early, in order to assist in effectively making change, prevent an emergency, or escalation of a problem. EAP consultation, as soon as you detect the warning signals of distress in the workplace, can prevent lost productivity and improve employee satisfaction and safety. It is also helpful to inform the EAP, when you refer an employee, about related workplace issues.

Personal problems often relate to the following factors:

  • Emotional stress
  • Mental illness
  • Addiction problems
  • Family related issues

Most managers don't have the training, nor is it within their role as supervisors, to attempt to resolve these types of issues themselves. The Employee Assistance Program is a professional resource to help the employee resolve the personal or medical difficulties that impact their workplace performance.

Job Performance Indicators
Performance problems may require supervisory intervention and professional attention. These could be:

  • Absenteeism and/or excessive lateness
  • "On-The-Job" absenteeism
  • High accident rate (and consequently, more accident claims)
  • Poor employee relationships on the job
  • Uneven and or poor productivity

Q. What if I need to mandate an employee to EAP?
A. When an employee has been identified as needing to be mandated to EAP for intervention the supervisor should contact EAP to discuss the specific problems identified. An appointment can be made at that time with the supervisor notifying the employee of the appointment.Contact will be maintained with the supervisor throughout the mandate to EAP to review any updates on work performance, to inform of compliance/non-compliance and upon closure of case.