Employee Assistance Program

Referring Your Employee

If possible, consult with the EAP prior to making a supervisor referral, and provide the EAP with written information about the performance issues. This helps the EAP conduct a more effective assessment. Without written information, the EA professional must rely upon the employee’s report of job performance problems, or recall what you have said about the performance issues at the time of a telephone consult. When this happens, EAP interviews with an employee may be less effective because the employee rejects what he or she is hearing.

  • Tell your employee that you are making a supervisor referral to the EAP, and that you are basing the referral on performance problems. Be specific, tell your employee that you have made the EAP aware of the performance issues.
  • Reference your documentation and past discussions with your employee. These should not be a surprise. Appear supportive, not angry. Act hopeful, not cynical.
  • Remind the employee that the EAP is confidential. Ask your employee to sign a release so the EAP can confirm participation and follow-through with its recommendations. Tell the employee that the EAP will not provide personal information. Ask the employee if he or she will accept the referral.
  • Let the employee know that participation in an EAP cannot result in loss of promotional opportunities or jeopardize one’s job security.
  • If your employee does not accept an EAP referral, remind the employee that he or she could be subject to disciplinary action if performance problems continue. Do not threaten disciplinary action you will not or cannot carry out.

Next: After Referral