Supervisor Newsletter - July 2022

News reports have frequently mentioned "The Great Resignation" over the past year, referring to how many employees quit their jobs and why. What can supervisors or managers do to help curb the loss of good workers?

Research studies showed that when the crisis subsided enough for employees to return to work, millions had moved on. What followed was a worker shortage allowing employees to compete for greater benefits, including attractive remote work arrangements. A desire to not return to the original job also played a role in adding to a labor shortage. Suddenly, "employers needed employees more than employees needed employers." One study concludes that factors that can exacerbate the loss of workers are "toxic" company culture, low salary, poor management, lack of healthy work-life boundaries, and not allowing remote work. Are you able to influence change with any of these issues? Some are not related to pay but soft skills and relationship management. It is here that the PAS has expertise. Read below what the Gallup research organization discovered about the supervisor's role. Strive for a positive and engaging relationship with workers. Most will think twice before giving it up, even for additional pay in another job. Source.

Periodically, my employee has crying bouts but says it's a way to manage stress. Should supervisors be more aware of depression's symptoms, not so they can diagnose someone, but so they do not dismiss serious behaviors just because they do not cause performance issues?

To be completely unaware of the signs and symptoms of depression or any health problem that could lead to behavioral signs and symptoms in the workplace would not be a good thing, so it is appropriate to help supervisors be generally aware of observable signs or symptoms common among troubled employees with health or mental health conditions. This could lead to more supervisor-prompted self-referrals influenced by concern for the employee. This is a key reason for educating supervisors about the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. No matter what the health concern underlying the performance issues, the overriding principle that should be kept in mind is that focusing on the performance issues of quality of work, conduct, and attendance is more likely to lead to referrals of employees to PAS, where treatable health and mental health problems can be identified. The recovery from these problems is what will lead to improved performance, reduced turnover, and a healthier workforce. Check out the signs and symptoms of work depression.

I interviewed an employee for one of our new positions, but he looks like he might be an alcoholic or have a history of alcoholism. I know the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies in this situation, but is PAS the right resource concerning understanding its provisions and restrictions?

Your human resources advisor is your go-to professional for concerns about interviewing, the hiring process, and laws like the ADA and how they may apply in certain situations. The ADA treats actively drinking employees with substance use disorders and those who have been treated for addictive diseases differently. Decisions you make based upon your perception of their recovery or non-recovery status can also have legal implications. Sometimes, managers are educated and trained to understand employment laws, but if you are not applying them or recalling them regularly, it is easy to get confused. So, even if in doubt, reach out to human resources. Later, after someone has been hired, should you become concerned about behaviors, signs, and symptoms, or wonder how you should document performance, PAS is available.