Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Alcoholic Employee Spotted Coming Out of Liquor Store: To Step In or Not Step In

Several years ago a supervisor met with me to ask about one of his recovering alcoholic employees
who he saw come out of a liquor store one weekend. The employee's work was satisfactory without any issues.

I guess it is a small town.

The $64K question was, should the supervisor intervene, confront the work on Monday, report it to HR, or blow it off. What would you do?

This employee was in fact referred to treatment several years earlier and a last chance agreement to keep good attendance and maintain productivity was still in effect. What should the supervisor do?

The answer is pretty cut and dry. Do nothing. Less you disagree, follow this path of logic and remember something important: Business organizations are all about productivity and contracts to pay for productivity. They are not business to be ambulance chasers, do-gooders, or involve themselves in the personal lives of employees. Remember as well that witnessing this incident was coincidental. It could have happened five minutes before or five minutes after the time that it did.

This employee may still not be drinking, but even it the supervisor saw the employee turn the bottle up on the way out the door, work performance at this point is still characterized as satisfactory.

Here is what I told the supervisor. Tell me in the comments if you agree. Like any employee, you have the freedom to contact the EAP for any reason you feel appropriate. I encouraged the supervisor to take this step. That step is a confidential one for the supervisor, and actually has some real risk management dimensions to it.

Although many concerned persons would react with alarm to what you have seen, realize that your focus should remain on the employee’s performance and that you don’t have enough information to make an accurate judgment about what you have seen. Your call to the EAP will be treated confidentially. Don’t expect the EAP to provide details of your employee’s treatment or say what will happen with the information you share. But yu can be the EAP will do a little bit of follow up to see how things are going if there is still any level of involvement still in place. There is no guarantee, but it is likely. So far, so good.

Focusing on performance is the surest way to help the employee to not only be a good performer, but to also follow through with whatever his or her program of recovery entails.

Remember, you can’t control the employee’s behavior or outcomes in his or her personal life. Realize, too, that events such as this one frequently have simple explanations. For example, your employee in recovery may have had second thoughts and simply left the store, paid an old debt, or said good-bye to the clerk he never plans to see again!

#supervisortraining #newsupervisor #supervisoryskills

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Do you have a training program about Alcohol Abuse? It is a good idea to educate your employees about substance abuse because even if they do not have a problem themselves, a family member may indeed be severely in trouble, and such education always travels home. Find drug and alcohol problems here.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Women in the Workplace 2018: A Comprehensive Ground Breaking Research Study 2018

There's a lot of critical information in this new report on women in the workplace.
Despite the push to grow more diverse and inclusive workplaces, African American women in top management are still quite rare.

And there are more findings in this report critical to workforce management.
The new 2018 Women in the Workplace Study is a document you should read for three important reasons:
1) awareness for the problem of barriers to gender diversity that still exist;
2) the reliability of the information found in the document that discusses many aspects of modern day institutional discrimination; and
3) ideas about how you can make a difference in your role no matter what it might be.
The study was conducted by the prestigious

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Managing Poor Performing Employees with An Ultimatum that Works

Supervision skills are not just about managing employee behavior, coaching, inspiring, and
troubled employee being supervised and leveraged into treatment or counseling
praising workers. They are also about knowing when NOT to do those things, and to instead use resources outside of the supervisor's realm to intervene with unacceptable or unsatisfactory performance.

And here is the signal for when to do just that -- when you are failing at changing behavior.

When you can honestly say, "Wow, things are not changing, and my supervisory skills are not making a large enough dent!" -- Say that, and it's time to look outside the supervisory toolbox realm.

So, what's the next path?

The answer: some sort of professional or counseling help with your company's employee assistance program. (Do you have one? No worries. I will discuss another suitable path.)

If you have an EAP, do not see this program as a nice self-referral benefit for employees. This is absolutely the wrong paradigm. What EAPs are, are management tools--pro-employee and pro-management, neutral source management tools to salvage workers.

Sure EAPs take self-referrals you never hear about, but they were never initially designed for that purpose. They were created to salvage troubled workers with awesome skills.
You do not lose valuable workers just because they are sick or temporarily nuts.

Listen and email to receive the second half of this audio instruction guide




Diseases, psychological problems, and other stimuli that adverse affect performance are treatable. Repeating -- don't lose employees because of personal problems that are adversely affecting performance.
Preview our entire world famous Supervisor Training Program here.

If you do not have an employee assistance program, you can still leverage job security to motivate your employee to accept help and go to a helpful resource. It's all in the wrist. By this I mean the formulation of an appropriate disciplinary action that you will promise without any doubt, to deliver and dispense in response to an incident that just occurred which represents the type of performance problems you have been discussing with your employee.

Okay -- at this point, there is the disciplinary action sitting on the table in front of you and the employee -- what's next? What's next is up to the employee.

Either he or she accepts a referral to a professional counselor who can determine the nature of any existing problem with a release signed by the employee to inform you about whether there is a problem or not, but not what it is.  ...... or WHAM! A legitimate disciplinary action is given for the latest unacceptable infraction. Simple.

By the way, when the employee makes the wrong impulsive choice, have small discussion and let them understand the ramifications. See below.

Also that release should remain active so you can get phone calls reporting that the cooperation recommendations continuing.

Remember this is all up to the employee voluntarily in order to avoid the immediate dispensing of the disciplinary action.

Part of your conversation as a supervisor will also be to promise that participation in counseling if it is recommended or any treatment program if that should be the case, and that this will not affect or in any way impede or hamper or negatively affect the employee's job security, promotional opportunities, pay, or status with the organization, and that the entire matter will remain out of the personnel file.

Sound like a good deal? It is!

Let this message sink in while you are sitting there with the employee. Then ask, "what do you want to do?" If the employee says, I have no personal problems, repeat what you are offering. This is a statement the employee will use as a side door to escape this "no win" scenario (actually it is a win-win for the organization in that the problem is being resolved today.)

95% of employees in my experience will accept the professional help, assessment, referral, and signed release of information and agreement to cooperate with a therapist over the disciplinary action. You are not diagnosing your employee. You are saying "Do you want to be accommodated in case a personal problem is contributed to these performance issues?"
If not, dispense the action including termination if necessary.

So, with the above you are saving the company, not the employee. You are putting the company first.

The disciplinary action must be appropriate, but the entire process above must be repeated up to and through termination if necessary. Eventually the employee will accept the help if a personal problem exists. Bet on it. Remember, he who care least wins, and this process is designed to protect the company with job security as powerful leverage for change.

The process described in this post works. If you have any doubt, feel free to download the following document

Get your supervisors trained with 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors and keep that practical training right in front of them all year long to reduce risk, increase productivity, create better engagement among your employees, and improve morale. Go here to preview our 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors education program and get all the formats at no extra charge PowerPoint training supervision skills, Web course you own, or DVD training for supervisors, and of course our favorite - videos.

#supervisor  #supervisortraining  #supevisorskills

Monday, October 15, 2018

Supervisor Training and Skills: Pay Attention to Employee Hangovers: Signal to Get Help?

Hung-over workers cost employers billions of dollars per year in lost productivity and absenteeism. Have you  seen an employee come to work with a hangover? Have you notice a pattern with some employees.

Although heavy drinkers and alcoholics (approximately 11 percent of drinkers) experience more hangovers and contribute to more financial loss, hung-over workers are more likely to be light to moderate drinkers because there are more of them.

All drinkers will occasionally over-use booze. In fact, this is precisely how all social drinkers know when to quit--they've experienced the toxic effects of drinking too much. Ouch. Alcoholic however lose control over their drinking, which means the time, place, amount of consumption, and what happens to them if they drink.

Don't think that a hung-over employee is more likely to be an alcoholic or is a troubled employee automatically. The key is a pattern of problems.

Alcoholics do have hangovers, but social drinkers do too. A hangover means you drank too much, or at least enough to feel the affects of acetaldehyde - a metabolite of digested alcoholism and a toxic substance. Most people return to this nasty experience with long periods of avoidance in between. Alcoholics not so much. They have more frequent hangovers.

Some people can get a hangover from just a couple of drinks. Coming to work with a hangover can pose substantial risk to yourself and others even if you have a zero blood-alcohol level. So here's is a bit of advice.

Take a look at this chart above ( click to see the supervisor training handout -- or click here ) to get the supervisor training handout. Give it to your supervisors. Yes, it is $17, but it is also reproducible forever. I call it supervisor training for substance abuse on one sheet of a paper.

Use your company's EAP and refer employees with patterns of problems before crises begin.Document efficiently. The handout will help train supervisors because it has the right signs and symptoms it that can be relied upon for documentation.

Check out -- see it all -- our 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors--our supervisor training and skills program is used world-wide.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Supervisors and Leadership: Helping Your Employee Generate and Act on Great Ideas

You have many employees with great ideas. These ideas might be for new products, new processes, or even management ideas you can employee as a supervisor. Can you do anything as supervisor to help your employees not only consider great ideas, but not forget about them? Imagine the ideas that float around in your employees minds. Here's how to empower these workers to win for themselves and the work organization.

Let's assume therefore that you have had employees with amazing ideas in the past but
Supervisor Training Course in PowerPoint and Supervisory Skills Video
they didn’t act. Start with awareness for why employees give up on their great ideas. New ideas often challenge the status quo and, when examined, feel as if they are outside one's comfort zone. Help employees to feel comfortable challenging their comfort zones. And don't forget you told them to do so!

Remind your employees that it is not you that is holding them back. It's them, more than likely. In fact the following issues typically undermine great ideas. 1) Fear of failure – what you imagine will happen if the idea flops; 2) Fear of success – apprehension about what will be different if you succeed; 3) Procrastination – this postpones or avoids the pain of #1 or #2; 4) Depression and anxiety – these conditions undermine excitement (seek evaluation/treatment if you suspect that they are holding you back); and 5) Inertia – the tendency to do nothing or have things remain unchanged is its own force for inaction. 6) Erosion of excitement - employees with great ideas get excited, but the mind will maintain this level of excitement unless action is taken. So encourage employees to act.

Inspiring employees, praising them, and motivating them to take action by giving them a vision that they truly covet -- one that let's them see what's on the other side of the mountain top is a critical supervisory skill. You train all the supervisors in your company to think in these dimensions with 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors, our worldwide appreciated and celebrated course for any corporation. Go here to see the entire program.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Anger in the Workplace: Supervisor Skills that Build Effective Relationships Can Help

Not all employees handle anger at work in the same way. Some struggle with it regularly, while others may have rare experiences that trigger them to display an unprofessional
man yelling in phone showing anger at work over some matter
scene of discontent.

As a supervisor, if you blow up at disappointments perpetrated by management or your staff, rage at inconveniences, or bark at others’ mistakes, then you probably recognize that you have an anger management problem.

Are you still struggling to get a handle on it?

The change you want entails education about anger, self-awareness, and triggers; practicing alternative responses; logging attempts at change; practicing response tactics; apologizing to others when you slip up; and measuring progress.

Anger responses become ingrained, which is why a programmatic approach is often needed to gain control in the long term. Talk to your company's employee assistance program or a counselor to discuss the pieces above and how to turn them into a plan that will give you results.

Learned management and supervisory skills can help you build more effective relationships with your subordinates, and this in turn can have a major impact on anger responses. You simply learn that there are more effective ways to handle your emotions. Consider our 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors program for your corporate supervisors. You can preview the full program for free. Phone use at 1-800-626-4327 to learn more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bright and Educated Employees Who Don't Perform...What to Do.

Do you have a bright employee you know is packed full of potential, but who is not producing the work product or quality you absolutely know they are capable of? You may feel like you are pulling teeth getting them to start producing at maximum levels.

Here's how to make an impact. Typically, if your reasonable attempts to correct performance have not worked, that’s a signal to consider a referral to someone who can interview the employee confidentially and conduct an psycho-social and occupational productivity assessment to find out what is causing your worker not to measure up to their potential. How do you convince such an individual to actually do this!?!

It is much easier than you think, but you must know where your bottom line of low productivity expectation is located, otherwise you will not find the leverage necessary to motivate change. 

You must first identify what level of performance you expect and then stick to your guns. The failure to measure up will be the level you have determined is minimally acceptable is the justification for your referral to a professional who can perform the proper assessment.

The assessment professional will not tell you about what takes place in this meeting, but will and must assure you that your employee came to the appointment and cooperated with recommendations given. This person can be an employee assistance professional operating within EAP principles, but it can also be a privately contracted counselor third party you temporarily hire to perform this function. 

First, before confronting your employee (I will share with you how momentarily) you should consider whether you have used appropriate management tools up to this point--everything but disciplinary action. For example, proper accountability is frequently overlooked by managers although they think it exists. For example, have you set up a procedure in which your employee is obligated to report decisions to you and justify those decisions and actions as they occur? Do you have a mutual understanding about the consequences of failure to meet certain defined outcomes? This is also called “transparency” in supervision. Negative feedback (and positive) should not follow only after the fact, but should be offered before decisions are made and undesirable outcomes are produced. Accountability and transparency in supervision relationships change the mind-set of employees and for many are all that’s required to produce the results managers expect but never thought they’d see.