Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The One Minute Intervention to Help Your Troubled Employee

If you have an employee who for the first time demonstrates a behavior associated with sexual harassment, a firm management response often prevents a second offense by the employee. But if the employee has difficulty with the control of impulsive behavior or a long history of personal issues that contribute to this inappropriate behavior, something more may be needed. We're talking professional help. I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, fire the bum. I’m grinning because you won’t do it if this employee is one you value. True, unfortunately, if you will eventually become sick and tired of this employee enough to actually let him or her go. But you reach the SATOBSAD (Sick and Tire of Being Sick and Tired) don’t do it--at least not yet. Instead, get a grip and try this sure-fire intervention that puts the problem squarely on the employee's shoulders. You get to step back in full control and let nature takes its course. Simply tell the employee that today is his last day at work unless he wants to get an assessment with a professional person you know (someone you’ve contracted with as a professional employee assistance counselor). It's totally up to the employee. He or she gets the red carpet treatment if they say yes. That means..holding the job action in abeyance if the employee decides 1) he needs help 2) goes to the assessment 3) cooperates with getting help. If not, the action will not be held in abeyance. The action is based on job performance problems. Remember, your employee may need professional help, but you don’t have to make that determination at all. In other words, you are accommodating based upon his or her request so the employee can get help for a personal problem he or she thinks exists, not you. You are not diagnosing. It is the only way the employee can keep their jobto decide here and now that he or she has a personal problem for which he or she would like to be accommodated. If no problem exists, then the employee can be dismissed. There is no other option. Very few employees will voluntarily be fired in this situation.