When an employee’s performance begins to decline, they are often aware there is a problem and may even approach you as a supervisor or manager. Even if an employee does not approach you, they may make reference to personal problems when confronted about a work performance issue.
As a manager, it is important to let your employees know you care about them and their situation, while also holding them accountable for fulfilling their work responsibilities. Supervisory referrals, whether informal or formal, relieve you of the counseling role and allow you to remain focused on managing performance.
Informal Supervisory Referrals
As soon as you learn that an employee is having an issue in their personal life — even before it impacts their work performance — as a supervisor, you should encourage them to access NuVantage.
The EAP will provide them with free and confidential assistance regarding their personal or work-related concerns. We recommend keeping a stack of NuVantage wallet cards and brochures on hand for these type of referrals.
Formal Supervisory Referrals
When an employee’s productivity decreases significantly or their negative behaviors affect trust amongst a work team, you may want to require them to use their EAP benefit. Mandatory referrals to NuVantage can help struggling employees address work or personal problems that cause distraction and decreased productivity.
Formal referrals require the employee to sign a release of information. This document allows NuVantage to report on their attendance and compliance with the referral stipulations and/or the treatment provider’s recommendations.
Only information that is relevant to the specific supervisory referral and the employee’s job performance is shared with the employer. Although an employee is asked to sign a release of information, NuVantage will still maintain the level of confidentiality the law mandates.
Making a Formal Supervisory Referral
If you think a formal referral may be appropriate, please contact NuVantage. A NuVantage consultant or case manager will:
- Address any questions or concerns you have about the formal supervisory referral process.
- Facilitate the completion of supervisory referral forms.
- Update the referring supervisor or human resource manager regarding EAP session attendance.
- Provide a summary report (verbally or via email) about how the employee has complied with the process, including follow-through with subsequent referrals.
You can download the NuVantage supervisory resource guide [PDF] to get tips about promoting workplace wellness, when to make formal and informal referrals, and other EAP services that support managers.
You can also use the links below to download Word documents of the formal referral forms:
Manager's Guide to the Formal Referral Process
Employee Referral Memorandum Template