The Simplest Tool in Your Leadership Toolkit.

An Informal Referral is as simple as it sounds. It’s really just a conversation with the employee, letting them know that you are concerned about them and reminding them about how the Assistance Program (AP) can help.

Why are supervisors best positioned to encourage voluntary use of the Assistance Program?
  • Awareness – Often the supervisor is the first to know when something of a personal nature is impacting the employee. Supervisors know the employee’s leave records, work habits, job conduct, appearance, and likely a fair amount about their personal situation.
  • Influence – Supervisors are well-positioned to encourage their employee(s) to do something about a problem. A person who may not listen to family and friends will frequently make changes when the workplace intervenes.
Tips for a successful Informal Referral:
  1. Emphasize confidentiality! Make sure the employee knows that you are not informed about their use of the Assistance Program. You are simply reminding them that this resource is available.
  2. Continue to observe and document signs of improvement or deterioration of performance.
  3. If you observe a continuation of the problematic behavior or performance, have a follow-up conversation. This is a good time to consider a Supervisor (Formal) Referral. If you are unsure whether a Supervisor Referral would be helpful at this time, call your Account Manager for a Management Consultation.

Self-referrals are voluntary. They occur when a member contacts the Assistance Program on their own initiative. In this situation, the Assistance Program does not provide any specific or identifying information about the client to the supervisor or employer.

Self-referrals are important to a successful program because they allow the employee to address personal problems and prevent them from becoming bigger issues that impact the workplace.