The following list answers frequently-asked questions and highlights the important aspects of the EAP referral process:
What if I’m not sure if I should refer an employee to the EAP?
When in doubt, call Claremont. Claremont provides your organization with unlimited management consultations; we encourage you to call us early and often. Our Master’s level consultants will help you determine the appropriate next steps and whether or not to refer an employee to the EAP.
What is an informal referral?
Managers (and colleagues) can be instrumental in motivating an employee to seek counseling via informal encouragement whether or not there is a work performance problem. An informal referral is just that: encouragement to participate in EAP services. It can be done verbally and/or by distributing the EAP brochure or wallet card. With an informal referral, there is no Release of Information Form signed by the employee; therefore, Claremont will not report back to the manager regarding an employee’s participation, including whether or not the employee has contacted the EAP.
What is a formal referral?
When personal problems affect work performance now or in the future, the EAP can be recommended to the employee. This may occur in conjunction with a verbal warning, a written reprimand or other corrective action. A formal referral involves:
- A telephonic consultation with an EAP consultant.
- A meeting with the employee to review performance issues, expectations and timeframe for improvement.
- The employee signing the Release of Information which allows Claremont to report to you that the employee is participating in EAP counseling and any recommendations for work or further treatment. (Clinical information remains confidential.) You send the signed Release of Information to Claremont.
- The EAP consultant will keep you informed of the employee’s participation in counseling.
- Supervising work performance as usual: be firm, fair and consistent. Continue to document performance.
Will the EAP solve all my workplace challenges?
As you know, there is no silver bullet. However, the EAP is a resource that can help your team reach its maximum potential. The more the EAP is integrated into your routine handling of employee performance problems, the better the program works for you, the individual and the organization.
Can I force an employee to go the EAP?
No. Participation in EAP counseling is always voluntary. By agreeing to participate in EAP counseling, the employee demonstrates that he or she is making an effort to correct the problem. With the right approach it is rare for an employee to refuse an EAP referral, but it can happen. Such a refusal should be documented and work performance should continue to be monitored.
Does getting involved with an employee’s personal problems increase my liability?
No, just the opposite. Referring an employee to the EAP means you are not getting involved in the employee’s personal problems. You continue to supervise work performance while the EAP addresses the personal problems that may be causing the challenges at work. In fact, by making available the full range of EAP resources to an individual in need (and documenting it), you actually decrease your liability.
What do I say to the employee when making a referral?
The following “speech” provides you with language to make a formal or informal management referral. The speech demonstrates your support of the employee and normalizes the fact that personal problems can interfere with job performance.
Everyone wants you to improve your performance, especially me. We all have personal problems sometimes. Everyone in this company has had to carry some personal burden. Whether they realize it or not, sometimes these problems show up on the job and start to affect work. I am not saying this is true in your case, but if it is, the EAP is available to help employees resolve personal problems. And, the EAP is free. But, regardless of whether you contact the EAP or not, you and I need to meet again in 30 days to review your progress concerning job performance.Does Claremont have online tools for managers?
For informal referrals, the following should be included in the speech:
Your involvement with the EAP is completely confidential; they will not even tell me whether or not you have contacted the EAP.
For formal referrals, the following should be included in the speech:
I’ve talked with the EAP about your situation and we feel that it is in your best interest to allow the EAP to notify me as to whether or not you are participating in the counseling. I am not concerned about what you talk about during the visits, and that information will not be disclosed. I would like to know that you are attending the visits. This will demonstrate to me that you are making an effort to correct this problem. Let’s review and sign the “Release of Information” document to allow the EAP to notify me about whether or not you are attending the visits.
Yes. For additional resources, click here to go to Manager Tools Log In. The password is cbs.
Watch our video that briefly describes the management referral process (7 minutes).
- The EAP process is completely confidential, unless the employee signs a Release of Information. It is important to inform employees about confidentiality.
- The employee has the most to gain and the most to lose. By referring employees to the EAP, you are helping employees to help themselves.
- The EAP is a tool to be used in conjunction with your organization’s regular disciplinary procedures, not as a substitute.
- The EAP is another tool in your management toolkit. You continue to focus on work performance while the EAP addresses the personal issues.