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-December 2016

Q. I have an employee whose appearance has changed significantly, not unlike those before-and-after photos you see online of people who use meth. I don't know if she uses meth, but are there ways I can begin talking with her about my concerns and encourage her to use Personal Assistance Service?

A. It is appropriate to inquire about the status of an employee who appears ill. As you express concern about the employee's wellbeing, you can give her information about the organization's resources, including the Personal Assistance Service. Not all meth addicts have classic facial scarring from picking at their skin, at least not initially. However, other signs of use may include paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive motor activity, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, mood disturbances, severe dental problems, etc. Addictive diseases are chronic and progressive, so things are going to get worse if meth is an issue. Given your concern, you should consider a referral to Employee Occupational Health and Wellness for a fitness for duty examination. A fitness for duty examination determines the employee's suitability for being at work in order to guard against an individual who may be unsafe to himself/herself or others. Talk with a Personal Assistance Service staff member and consult on this situation to identify what other issues exist and what treatment options would be recommended for this employee to receive the help she needs.

Q. How to engage employees is important, but I think the missing piece is making sure they know what they are doing, how they will be measured, and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. In other words, clarity and purpose. Am I right?

A. Yes you are. To highlight your point, Jim Moran, professor of Business Administration at Florida State University's College of Business studied the issue of employees who are kept in the dark about their full purpose, and especially what they were accountable for doing. In his study of 750 workers, both white- and blue-collar, incredibly, less than 20 percent really felt certain they knew what was expected of them each day at work. Employees who are uncertain about their jobs showed 60 percent less trust of leadership. They also experienced 50 percent more frustration overall. They had 40 percent higher workloads. And 33 percent of these employees with an ambiguous understanding------ of their jobs were more likely to look for another job and slack off. Obviously, these issues point to engagement problems. Source: Press release. Go to (Search: "Left in dark")