Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Teach Supervisors about Substance Abuse and Addiction?

I knew some one ask me this question, "If supervisors are not supposed to diagnose alcohol- or drug-addicted employees, why are signs and symptoms of an employee with a possible alcohol or other drug problem, like alcohol on the breath a good thing to give to supervisor training?" Folks, you know that addiction is the most misunderstood health problem in world history. This means that it you don't give supervisors accurate information about addiction, they will remain in total ignorance about the problem and vulnerable to manipulation by drug using or alcoholic employees. Yes, it is a good thing to provided supervisors with common performance-related signs and symptoms too. In fact, it is critical to have a comprehensive list. However, the a really strong grounding in signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction must also be provided so supervisors are dispelled of their own myths and misconceptions. It is these myths and misconceptions, along with codependency and enabling that keeps addicted persons ill in society. Interrupting this pattern is a what accurate information about substance abuse is all about. Take a look at the drug and alcohol education center to learn more. Some performance symptoms may be more common among employees with alcohol or other drug problems, like absenteeism. But these are not diagnostic of alcoholism. Alcohol on the breath may be a performance issue upon which to base a supervisor referral, but it alone has little diagnostic value as well. Training supervisors helps them avoid natural inclinations to focus on images, myths, or stereotypes of addicted persons and then completely avoid confronting a troubled employee. Still information that tackles the myths prepares managers to do the most good when they meet up with both an under-performer who also happens to be an alcoholic or drug dependent person.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And that's a Direct Order!

The best managers sell their ideas by communicating a clear objective and inviting input, rather than simply handing down orders. So what's the secret? You can have your ideas implemented more successfully, while gaining more support and ownership among those you supervise, if you follow these steps: 1) rather than focusing on control of a project or plan, focus on exciting subordinates with a vision of what you would like to accomplish; 2) get employees involved in the implementation by communicating a clear objective; 3) invite input and provide a forum or means to register this input; 4) promise to review and consider input; 5) divide a project into stages and delegate responsibility for the completion of certain steps; 6) recognize people for their effort along the way and spread credit for success; 7) whenever possible, seek to create a fun work environment; 8) maintain a two-way communication process. Want more tips like this one? Try FrontLine Supervisor Newsletter