Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting Through the Door to Train Supervisors

Top management is typically stingy at giving EA professionals time to make presentations on the EAP. And if you want to come back a second time for refresher training, well, good luck. Still, you are more likely to get their attention if you offer shorter, more concise supervisor training that tackles key problems in the supervisor referral process and helps supervisors use the EAP as a management tool more effectively.

The key is to help supervisors, not put your focus on helping employees. I know, that sounds a bit out of place, but it's not. You have to play to your audience. The best way to arrange supervisor training is by sending a letter or memo to departments rather than top management.

Break the organization down and mail a memo that asks a contact person within a certain department to call you to arrange the presentation. Send the memo to the most senior manager of the unit.

Say you would like to include your presentation at the front or back and of a regular supervisor's meeting routinely held in the work unit. You aren't going to be asking for any special meeting times. In the memo, stress that you will helping managers manage stress and give them some helpful tips on how the EAP can help them.

Think about a presentation that includes any of the following:

  • Resolving Conflict Among Employees;
    Resolving Conflict Among Peers and the Boss;
    Negotiating with Others;
    Supervisor Role in Conflict;
    Supporting Troubled Employees without Overstepping Your Bounds;
    Coping with Feelings of Isolation in Supervision;
    Dealing with Discipline and Dismissal Stress;
    Conquering Self-doubt;
    Time Management,
    Getting Things Done,
    Intervening with Burnou;
    Coping Skills;
    Dealing with Change;
    Staying Positive;
    Leading in the Midst of Stress;
    Taking Charge;

Motivating Others;

(Go here to see more ideas that you can pick and choose from.)

Too many employees and managers, as you already know, think EAPs are just about counseling services or feel-good programs. They don’t understand their larger productivity purpose. (Actually, many EA professional struggle with this as well, but that's for another blog post!)

You goal is to help change that perception so they can see how the EAP can work for them. Actually, the first element of the EAP Core Technology is not about employees--it's about helping management with employee and productivity issues. (That's right!)

Call your presentation Seven Secrets of Making the EAP Work for Supervisors. Make your content focus on relieving them of stress associated with managing difficult employees. Talk about EAP Referral Myths, Misconceptions, and Missteps for Supervisors make.

Ask to come back in the future. They'll be looking forward to it.