Observing Performance Prior to Documentation
Observing performance is important prior to constructing documentation. Observing performance means being alert to decline or undesirable changes in your employee's performance.
  1. The essential duties, functions, and behavioral expectations of one's position are the legitimate concern of the employer, and are typically evaluated. These include: quality of work, attendance and tardiness, conduct and appearance, attitude and demeanor, and availability to perform one's duties.
  2. Don't participate in armchair diagnosis of employees. Do not "analyze" their performance troubles to determine personal causes. Likewise, do not "rule out" a personal problem, and unwittingly decide that the EAP could not help the employee. This is a common mistake for supervisors, and it is another example of armchair diagnosis.
  3. It is okay to ask an employee what is causing a performance problem. This is not acting like an armchair diagnostician. However, it is important not to discuss the personal problem if one is disclosed.
  4. If you know your employee well, it is tempting to analyze behavior and involve yourself in his or her personal problems. This is a form of enabling, and it reduces the likelihood that your employee will use the EAP.
It's True! It's True! High tolerance to alcohol is normal for alcoholics. They may appear sober, when in fact they are intoxicated. This leads some people to believe that a person with alcohol on their breath can drive a car or perform other functions. Follow your organization's policies, but never let an employee drive if you suspect that he or she has been drinking or using drugs. Likewise, never send an employee home alone who does not appear to be in control of his or her behavior, or has made suicidal or homicidal threats. When in doubt, ask the EAP or another designated person within your organization who handles emergencies for guidance. Or, contact the police. Know how your organization wants you to respond so you are prepared in the event of such a crisis.