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Employee Assistance & Marriage @ Work!

Sep 13, 2008
For example, if an employee came into your office complaining about marital problems and you told them you were only interested in their work performance, then you'd be considered a bad manager for not handling the situation with a little more dignity.

Or what would happen if another employee with martial problems came into your office every day for at least fifteen minutes to talk. It wouldn't be long before the other people in the department were complaining that the one who was confiding in you was receiving special treatment. Remember that by spending personal time with any employee, you are:

Taking other employee's valuable time away from what the company is paying them to do since they are gossiping about the non work related relationship that you've got with the troubled employee.

Tying up your valuable time and taking away from what the company is paying you to do

Increasing the chances that you will be charged with favouritism

The point is that a professional distance must be maintained by supervisors and that neither managers or supervisors can be effective councilors. Trying to do this will only harm employee relations and performance evaluations. An Employee Assistant Program allows the companies who use them to deal with personal problems indirectly. Using this method company time is not used to council these troubled employees and issues of favoritism are therefore not raised.

As well, an Employee Assistance Program ensures that the employee will get the qualified help that they need that will generally make a difference.

There are three areas that are considered a managerial role when it comes to these programs. Managerial people should,

Provide information about the program
Encourage their use
Refer the employees that need these programs

However, there are several barriers that the manager may face when attempting to refer employees. First, they may be reluctant to get involved. If a manager notices that any employee is becoming more and more withdrawn at work, he or she may hesitate to approach that employee. The manager might feel that it is inappropriate to discuss a personal problem with any employee.

As well, there are other instances where an employee's problem may not seem to be directly tied to their work performance. The manager may not want to interfere unless the issue is directly work related. However, if the problem is left alone, it's often the case that it will eventually affect work performance.

There is also a reluctance to insult people. We've been taught to remain politely distant, especially in the workplace. Approaching a employee that might have a personal problem may appear to be the ultimate insult to many managers or even fellow employees.
About the Author
Richard Reid of
Pinnacle Proactive
, Specialists in the
Employee Assistance Program ,
Stress Management ,
Staff Retention & Absenteeism . Take a Proactive Approach in Growing Your
Organisation
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