Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Training and Reaching Supervisors with EAP Essentials

How do you reach supervisors who are unable to attend supervisor training and other related educational programs offered by the EAP?

Unless your supervisors are communicating regularly with the EAP, they will slowly come to misunderstand it, not trust it, or simply forget to use it as tool to manage difficult behavior and performance problems. The risk to the organization is troubled employees being referred too late or not at all. If one of these employees has serious emotional issues, especially the potential for violence, the organization obviously is at increased risk from an inadequate relationship with the EAP and supervisors. (This is on of the strongest argument for avoiding an EAP "product" wrapped in an insurance plan, largely only a 800# call-in service, that omits an aggressive interface with supervisors.)

So what's the solution for increasing communication and training of supervisors when EAPs can't get "face time" with them? Supervisor training sessions are “iffy” things for companies. Some department managers will work against you, believing they can’t spare the time or give up their supervisors. Frequently, troubled supervisors skip out of training if it is not mandatory. Experienced employee assistance professionals have observed that supervisors with alcohol problems may shy away supervisor training sessions.

Without training in EAP essentials, these managers will remain ignorant about how to use the EAP as a management tool to refer troubled employees. To accomplish this goal, you should subscribe to The FrontLine Supervisor EAP newsletter. The FrontLine Supervisor is the only education tool in the EAP field to educate supervisors continuously about EAP process and supervision skills, while it increases supervisor referrals. A subscription to it increases the rate of supervisor referrals, and the publisher guarantees this outcome.

Supervisors must have ongoing education. One training session won’t cut it. Some HR departments or EAPs may publish their own supervisor education newsletter. Great! It should be distributed on time and it should appear monthly. Quarterly newsletters and the like are simply too infrequent to make an programmatic impact. By default, they tend to be four pages, and therefore too much to read before they are discarded. The FrontLine Supervisor’s question and answer format has proven success rate after 16 years of being irresistible to busy supervisors.