Manager tips for supporting your staff
✔ Respond Effectively. As a supervisor and manager you will be faced with challenging
situations. You may have the responsibility of having difficult conversations with
employees who are experiencing work or personal related issues. These conversations are
typically stressful for both employee and management and it’s important to identify what
will help to keep them in the workforce and keep their performance satisfactory.
✔ Observe Employees Changes. Changes might include; appearance, reduced productivity
or work quality, absenteeism, disruptive behavior, concerns about possible substance
abuse and interpersonal conflicts. If you start to observe changes you can start by asking
them if everything is OK. Do so in a private setting and where you will not be overheard.
✔ Step In Early. Early support is key and by expressing the concerns you have observed
demonstrates that you care and can prevent performance issues and behavior change. Do
not presume that you know what the problem is and avoid asking intrusive questions if
they don’t want to talk about them.
✔ Confidentiality. Affirm that you will treat any disclosures of personal information with
confidentiality. Listen to their concerns and show a genuine interest. Do not assume
however that it is your responsibility to solve the employee’s problems and resist from
giving any advice on financial management or on personal relationships.
✔ Encourage conversation. Be aware that disclosing personal information can be a huge
step forward and support from management and making yourself available can make a
great difference to someone’s’ confidence and ability to work well.
✔ Listening for understanding. If an employee is exhibiting feelings of frustration, anger,
annoyance and/or avoidance try and understand their perspective before discussing
✔ Encourage employees to access EAP counselling. Recognising the early warning signs of
an employee in difficulty and knowing how to refer that employee to EAP are some of the
important functions of the supervisor. You can explain to the employee that EAP is totally
confidential and that AWS does not disclose to anyone the content of the counselling
Referring staff to EAP Services
✔ Manager Support Line
AWS provides an objective, confidential and flexible service to assist managers and
supervisors in achieving overall staff wellbeing and maximizing employee potential
through our Manager Support line. Any supervisor or manager can ring us for advice about
how to refer an employee or other matters.
✔ Manager Initiated Referral
AWS delivers a transparent service in which managers can formally refer an employee for
counselling to address work place behaviors such as inappropriate conduct, unexplained
absences and performance issues. Duty of care requires that the manager and employee
agree on goals and objectives that will become the focus of the counselling sessions. For
example conflict resolution strategies or interpersonal skills or time management skills.
Counselling will assist to address the impact of both personal and work related issues on
productivity. Confidentiality is assured when pertaining to personal issues or concerns.
The employee consents however to the manager receiving feedback from AWS in relation
to progress of objectives and goals within the session.
✔ Referring employees to EAP
Encourage the employee to call 1300 66 77 00 but emphasise it’s entirely their choice to
use the service. If the employee asks you to ring to make the appointment on their behalf
they need to be there with you to confirm to our receptionist that (for data protection
reasons) that it is them requesting it.