Personal Assistance Service (PAS) | 2200 West Main Street | Erwin Square Tower | 4th Floor, Suite 400A | Durham, NC 27705 | 919-416-1PAS (919-416-1727)

Supervisor Newsletter

Newsletter-November 2016

Q. How can supervisors play a role in helping employees not bring their problems to work, and separating their home life from their work life so productivity is not affected?

A. It is likely that when employees are unable to effectively cope with and manage personal or family problems their work performance may be affected. Perhaps one of the more challenging roles for the supervisor is to begin a discussion outlining the supervisor's expectations that personal problems should not interfere with the employee's productivity, attendance, quality of work, availability, and attitude. No supervisor will be able to prevent an employee from bringing his or her personal problems to work. However, supervisors can play a powerful role in helping employees seek help earlier before interference occurs. Personal Assistance Service is available to consult with supervisors and managers about employees whose personal problems are interfering with work productively and to give you information about how we are a viable resource to help employees to effectively manage their personal and family problems.

Q. How to do I get two employees whose personalities clash severely to get along? I think the services at Personal Assistance Service are great, but I think these two are beyond help. These employees have significant differences in their backgrounds, energy levels, values, attitudes, work styles, and more.

A. Despite the serious differences between your employees, it is not practical or helpful to say all hope is lost. Realize that employees in severe conflict usually evolve to the point of impasse that they are experiencing over a period of time. The conflict may appear to be an instant phenomenon, but typically unacceptable behavior, sabotaging behavior, withholding information, territorial disputes, and complete unwillingness to sit down and iron out problems emerge over time. The toxicity in these relationships grows because the warring parties perceive that there is a lack consequences to continuing their dispute. Your first step is to consult with a Personal Assistance Service counselor to discuss the problem privately. Then examine your commitment to communicating to your employees that your expectation is for them to improve their working relationship and this expectation is nonnegotiable. Next, you will want to refer your employees to Personal Assistance Service, and finally make decisions about how you will respond should a resolution not be forthcoming. Presumably, both employees would like to be in less conflict. These circumstances offer strong indications that Personal Assistance Service will be able to help.