Handling Supervisory Referrals

A small percentage of clients seen through the Employee Assistance Program are formal “supervisory referrals”. These cases are referred directly through the employer due to a concern regarding the employee’s work performance. Often, these employees are on a performance improvement plan, have had a verbal and/or written warning(s), and may be facing termination of their employment if the work performance issue is not rectified. Some of the reasons for supervisory referrals may be, but are not limited to: attendance issues, tardiness patterns, productivity levels, anger management issues, not adhering to a workplace policy, positive drug or alcohol screens, etc. At times, an employee may be temporarily suspended from their job, with or without pay, until they are at least seen by a counselor for the supervisory referral, or possibly even until the issue is completely addressed and the individual is cleared to come back to their job.

In these cases, the client is referred as a formal supervisory referral and is required to attend a minimum of three (3) sessions. Prior to the first session, we typically have information provided by the individual’s supervisor or HR contact person as to why they are being referred. This information will be shared with our affiliate counselor to insure that the session is spent addressing the issue(s) for which they have been referred.

At their first session, the employee is asked to sign a (limited) Release of Information to a Directions EAP case manager. This limited ROI gives permission for the affiliate counselor to share that the employee has made and kept their appointments, is cooperative, and any work-related recommendations that are made to the employee can be shared with the employee’s manager or HR contact via the Directions EAP case manager to ensure case coordination.

Case management telephone calls/updates will take place throughout the timeframe that the client/employee is being seen to determine that they are continuing to follow through, any progress (or lack of) regarding the work performance issue, that they are complying with recommendations, as well as feedback from the employer as to their observations of the employee on the job.

A minimum of 3 sessions is required, however, formal supervisory referrals may continue longer, depending on the severity of the issue.

If the client/employee is not successful in resolving the issue(s) through the formal supervisory referral, it may be the employer’s decision to terminate their employment. However the EAP intervention has given the employee this opportunity to utilize some training and counseling prior to termination.