EAP is for Managers and Supervisors, Too
Dear Manager/Supervisor: Does this describe a typical week in your life?
- Conflict among your employees
- Complaints from your customers
- Demands from your boss
- Ever-changing rules for doing business
A manager often feels like he/she is changing tires on a moving car. If there are also problems at home, you may have a recipe for stress and burnout.
When an employee appears to be struggling with work and/or personal issues, their manager may refer the employee to the County of Santa Clara Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The EAP
- ffers a safe, free and confidential place to talk with a licensed professional counselor, to find out about available community resources, and to figure out new plans of action.
However, Managers may not realize that EAP is there for Managers, too.
EAP can offer Managers help in a number of different ways: face-to-face counseling for personal issues, phone and/or face-to-face consultation regarding workplace issues, and specialized training for your work group.
1. Counseling for You: You may find it helpful to schedule an appointment for yourself to deal with the stresses of your demanding life, including those of being a manager in these difficult times.
Counseling can be helpful for you in two major ways: personal and work-related. Because of strict confidentiality rules, you can discuss personal issues in a safe place. Just as with the employees you manage, it can be very hard to be focused and productive when you are worried about yourself or situations at home or work.
Being able to talk about how your job affects you—and how you affect it—can lead to major reductions in your stress level. You may realize that it is very hard for you to set clear limits for your employees and as a result they run circles around you. You may realize that you have highly critical, perfectionist tendencies and you micromanage your employees. Your employees become disgruntled, afraid, or unproductive in return. You may have been raised to “give it your all” until your health collapses. You may have been raised to be a people-pleaser and, as a manager, end up pleasing nobody. An EAP counselor can work with you to learn more effective ways to be clear, to set reasonable limits for self and others, to feel less intimidated or irritable, and to maintain a healthy work/life balance. EAP is a safe, non-judgmental place to talk and explore how you can become the manager you’d like to be.
2. Consultation with You: You can access EAP by phone at (408) 241-7772 or by scheduling a face-to-face visit to talk with one of our counselors about a work-related situation. If your department is facing layoffs, EAP can coach you regarding ways to manage this sensitive process.
In general, our counselors can strategize with you about effective ways to communicate
with your employees about on-going work and interpersonal issues. Sometimes these
consultations serve to validate the efforts you have already been making. Sometimes
something new will surface that will help you deal better with those problems that just
won’t go away! Additionally, EAP is linked in with community resources that may be of
We can coach you on how and when to make employee referrals to EAP. EAP is a strictly voluntary resource for employees. It is up to the employee to decide if the referral makes sense to them.
Remember those employees in conflict? EAP can give you more details about our voluntary Conflict Resolution Program (specifically designed to help two peer employees resolve on-going conflict).
3. Specialized Training for Your Employees: After discussion with you, our counselors
may suggest a specially designed department training program to address your concerns. In the past, we have offered the following programs:
a) Conflict Skills (a skills-based program for work groups in various formats)
b) Managing the Stress of Change (as layoffs and reorganizations loom)
c) Stress Management
d) EAP Refresher Orientations at Worksite
e) Alcohol/Drugs at Work
f) Balancing Work and Home
g) Cultural Sensitivity Training
h) Compassion Fatigue
We welcome you to access EAP in whatever way works for you. Know that you don’t have to go through difficult times alone. If you have any questions, please call EAP at (408) 241-7772.
Written by Judy Davidson, EAP Counselor