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Do you have an Employee Assistance Program for your Team?

EAP’s are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being. EAP’s generally include assessment, short-term counselling, and referral services for employees and their household members. The workplace extends its responsibility circle just a little further than would normally be expected. The workplace understands that the family’s wellness is an extension of the employee’s wellbeing.

  • EAP employee assistance programs are there to assist employees going through a difficult or challenging time especially during illness. Employees’ personal lives can affect their ability to do their jobs and interact with co-workers, supervisors, and clients. When addressing an employee whose personal problems are affecting his or her work performance. Be specific about problems and offer assistance.
  • A performance improvement plan can outline areas for improvement and the employer’s performance expectations. An employee who is overwhelmed with emotional issues at home may have trouble prioritizing and staying focused at work. He or she may need extra assistance in setting priorities, staying on task, and dealing with challenges. Allowing time for the employee to vent about issues constructively with a supervisor may be helpful. Employers should be concerned with the stress levels of employees, as stress has a serious impact on worker productivity. Careful planning and empathy in dealing with employees whose personal problems affect their work performance are useful tools that managers should have in their toolboxes.
  • When employees arrive for shifts, speak to them, and establish if they are well and healthy, ready to commence full action. If someone seems under the weather engage with the person to see if you can assist or alleviate his/her perceived challenge. On many occasions, a slow or lazy person may just be bogged down with too much to handle.

How do we help, what do we do when one of the team is going through a rough time?

Managing an employee who is going through a stressful period is challenging and as the leader, you need to dig deep stay calm and, you need to be empathetic and compassionate while also being professional and keeping your team productive. The following are suggested considerations during this challenging time:

  • Make yourself available: Invest time in building good relationships with employees so you’ll be able to detect any problems early on.
  • Don’t pry: As a leader, you need to be able to show empathy and care, but you also must avoid becoming an employee’s personal confidante.
  • Listen first, suggest second: When you speak to an employee about their challenges, listen first instead of immediately advocating for some particular course of action.
  • Know what you can offer: But also be sure you understand your company’s restrictions on short- and long-term leave, before promising anything to your employee. Explain that you need to check what’s possible before you both commit to an arrangement. If the employee needs counselling or drug or alcohol services, there may be resources provided by your company’s medical insurance that you can recommend.
  • Check-in regularly to make sure they’re doing ok: Whether you’ve settled on a solution yet or not, check in with your employee occasionally or sending a brief email.
  • Consider workload: If prolonged absences will adversely affect clients or team members, mitigate those risks by easing the person’s workload.
  • Be transparent and consistent: Treat all employees consistently, be sure that they will be watching how the company supports individuals and expect the same when they are going through difficulty.

What are we on the lookout for?

Absenteeism, low energy, bad attitude, frequent use of social media, lack of enthusiasm –  What are the early signs of employee disengagement?

  • No Initiative in their Employee Performance

Poor work product is a reliable barometer for disengagement, but good work might be hiding something. An employee may feel disconnected from your organization but might still perform because of a personal work ethic. In order to manage performance more effectively, look at how motivated the person is in a different context.

  • Unhealthy Activities

How often does an employee go to the break room for a coffee, or a smoke, sometimes people over-indulge in unhealthy behaviours to fill a void in their personal or professional lives? People who are truly motivated by purpose often derive fulfilment simply by working diligently at their desks.

  • Silence Indicates a Problem in the Workplace

Some people feel their batteries recharge when they have their own space, it might just be that you have an introverted employee. But when the entire company or specific teams are having fun or celebrating success and a select few have no interest, excitement, or celebration, you could have an employee engagement issue. 

  • Wasted Time, holiday’s and or weekends wasted

When we aren’t happy or we’re uninspired at work, those emotions have a way of infiltrating all aspects of our lives. Are people spending their weekends sleeping most of the time, or are they pursuing a personal passion?

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of Restauranthub.co the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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