Supervisory Referrals for Performance Problems
A persistent performance problem is often caused by underlying difficulties, and is unlikely to resolve without supervisory intervention. The supervisor can provide motivation toward health and productivity by addressing the poor performance and simultaneously offering a source of professional help.
When the following situations occur in the workplace, Faculty and Staff Services may assist you in addressing these concerns:
- Absenteeism, attendance problems
- Declining or inconsistent job performance
- "On-the-job" absenteeism
- Frequent Tardiness
- Increased errors, accidents, missed deadlines
- Difficulties with concentration, confusion
- Change in attitude, mood, appearance
- Change in work relationships
- Frequent complaints
- When there are no work performance problems, but an employee shares a personal problem with you.
- When you are feeling stressed, frustrated, helpless, disappointed or anxious when thinking about an employee's work performance problem.
Faculty and Staff Services also provides information - pamphlets, articles, videos, audio-tapes, books- and assist you in finding the resources you need.
How do I make a supervisory referral?
When referring an employee for counseling due to performance problems, use the following steps:
- Document the employee's performance.
- Talk with your employee about job performance expectations and outline what changes are needed. Focus on work performance issues. Do not try to diagnose personal problems.
- Recommend Faculty and Staff Services as a resource to help resolve problems. The earlier an employee seeks help, the more easily problems can be resolved.
- Contact Faculty and Staff Services to inform us of a potential referral.
- Schedule a follow-up meeting with the employee to evaluate progress in reaching job performance standards.
What happens next?
When an employee has been referred due to performance problems, the counselor will request written permission for the supervisor to be contacted. The supervisor will only be told that an initial session was held, and whether further appointments are scheduled. The specific nature of the employee's problem is confidential and will not be disclosed. The counselor will work with the employee to try to resolve his/her problems and may recommend the use of additional resources.
What if an employee refuses to use Faculty and Staff Services?
An employee's involvement with Faculty and Staff Services is voluntary. Whether an employee chooses to use FSS or not, the supervisor needs to continue monitoring job performance. An employee is not sheltered from disciplinary procedure by participation in counseling. Nor can an employee be disciplined for not seeking assistance. Whether FSS is utilized or not, the employee is responsible for acceptable work performance.
How else can FSS assist supervisors?
Addressing a concern with an employee is typically not easy, but by planning ahead and using good communications skills, the supervisor can make the interaction easier for both of you.
Services we provide include:
- Suggestions on how to present and frame the problem.
- Planning ahead to predict the employee's reaction and how to handle it.
- An opportunity to rehearse your conversation.
- Reviewing the Guide to Progressive Discipline.
If there are no work performance problems, but an employee shares a personal problem with you, you may suggest the Employee Assistance Program for brief counseling at no charge.
Our workgroup consultation and intervention services can provide leadership coaching to help you deal with an employee's work performance and any impact on the workgroup.
Faculty and Staff Services also offers many educational programs, including several designed for supervisors.
What other resources are available?
- NEW! Sleep Resources
Resources for Leaders and Supervisors
- Substance Abuse in the Workplace Presentation
- Behavior Risk Management
- Supervisor Incident Summary (pdf)
- Educational Programs
- Frontline Supervisor Archives
- Online Course: 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors
- Supervisory Referrals
- Layoffs/Permanent Furloughs
- Privacy Notice
Other Important Links
- Sexual Misconduct
- UI Behavioral Health
- RVAP - Rape Victim Advocacy Program
- UI LiveWELL-Personal Health Coaching
- University Counseling Service (for students)
- WRAC - Women's Resource & Action Center
- Office of the Ombudsperson
- Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
- UI Public Safety
- Threat Assessment Team
Additional Workplace Resources and Support
Page last updated June 2013