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-January 2017

Q. We dismissed an employee due to performance issues related to an alcohol addiction following a relapse after treatment. We hear the employee has been sober for over a year now. It's incredible because the situation was an ongoing 25-year saga of problems and relapses. What could explain this?

A. It is impossible to know all the factors that contributed to this pattern when the employee worked for you and the surprising success at recovery after termination. However, some common observations about recovery are worth understanding. Chronic alcoholism is always accompanied by an unpredictable path of progression, which often includes:

  1. Problems at work and home
  2. Physical illness
  3. Legal difficulties
  4. And enabling patterns within the family and in society

All of these direct the course of the illness and the timing for when (if ever) the addict will accept treatment. Remember, alcoholism is a drug addiction accompanied by cognitive distortions in thinking, especially denial. It is possible that your employee's fear of job loss may never have materialized until after it was experienced, wherein the need for treatment and recovery was accepted in order to financially survive.

Q. How can I energize my employees and get them to feel excited about the work we are doing?

A. Consider taking every opportunity to recognize your employees' contributions while urging them to excel. Spend time periodically letting them feel your enthusiasm for the work, the goal, the vision, and the ultimate outcome because this positivity is contagious when it's genuine. Be sure you find your own ways to stay excited and energized because if you can't feel excitement yourself, it will not be possible to pass it along to them. Remind employees about their past achievements, and get them to understand the underlying reasons they succeeded and did so well. This will offer clues about what keeps them energized. Set a goal and urge employees to top last year's achievements. If they feel your energy and genuine concern for them, they are more likely to accept your challenge and work enthusiastically to achieve the goal.