Frontline Supervisor: Dealing with Employees' Personal Problems

Q. I’m sympathetic to a worker with personal problems that are affecting her performance. She doesn’t want to go to BJC EAP because she says she’s “had it with therapy.” I know I can’t force her to go. Isn’t it better to respect her wishes?

Frontline Supervisor: Skills for New Supervisors

Q. I want to make a good impression on my employees now that I am their new supervisor. What will employees focus on most as they “size me up” over the next several months?

Frontline Supervisor: Negativity at Work

Q. How can I help employees experience more positive communication and less negativity with one another?

Frontline Supervisor: Morale and Motivation

Q. Can I refer an employee to BJC EAP to gain more confidence in skills and abilities? One of my employees has the skills, but confidence and negative self-talk is a problem. I could give the employee motivational improvement literature, but is that getting too involved?

Frontline Supervisor: Dealing With Employees’ Personal Problems

Q. When employees with performance issues mention their personal problems, I feel obligated to participate in these discussions. It may sound cold, but I want to rid myself of this feeling and, like other supervisors, focus only on work issues.

Frontline Supervisor: Employee Morale and Motivation

Q. I have many employees and I must ensure that they stay motivated. I know employees have to motivate themselves and that I can't do it for them. So what is my role in the process? How do I play an influential part in motivating employees.

Frontline Supervisor: Performance Appraisals

Q. Can you provide some tips that will help me be more positive and effective in evaluating my employees' performance this year? What are some trouble spots that supervisors must be careful to avoid?

Frontline Supervisor: Taking Disciplinary Action

Q. I disciplined an employee with a three-day suspension and immediately had several employees confront me. They insisted on knowing all the particulars, but I said it was inappropriate to discuss it. They were very angry at me. Did I do the right thing?

Frontline Supervisor: High-Conflict Employees

Q. Employees in conflict can be very disruptive to the work group. I have no problem making a referral to BJC EAP, but supervisors should attempt to resolve conflicts first. The question is how early to step in, right? Also, does a “formula” exist for doing it right?

Frontline Supervisor: Dealing with Employees’ Personal Problems

Q. In supervisor training, we are strongly warned not to ask employees personal questions or discuss employees’ personal problems. I find this a difficult task because it makes me appear cold. Can you discuss this a little more?