The Necessary Conversation – Interview with Dr Linda Burrows Part 2

This interview with Dr Linda Burrows focuses on the negative impact on staff when managers can be too quick to promote EAP rather than having a meaningful conversation themselves with the staff member.

Linda's top tips are:
  • Employees can feel very hurt by being 'dismissed' or 'sent off' to EAP without a real conversation with their manager when there has been an issue at work.
  • An employee can feel they have 'missed out' on the conversation with their manager. Employee want to know their manager understands their situation and how they are feeling.
  • Employees want direct support from their manager. Employees want to know that their manager knows what they have been through. Employees want to know their manager is concerned for them.
  • EAP is no substitute for managers having the conversation with their employees.
  • If a manager has offered EAP it would be beneficial for the manager to then 'check in' with the employee; did they use the EAP service, was it helpful, can anything else be offered to the employee?
  • Offering EAP is not the end of the conversation with the employee. In fact it shouldn't replace a conversation with the manager.
  • Employees need to know they are being cared about then they are having a difficult time, although it is important to recognise that if this is a personal issue, they may not want to share this information with their manager.
  • Employees usually appreciated it when their manager simply opens up the conversation and listen. They don't have to have the answers.
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About the Author

Catherine Gillespie brings a wealth of skill to her clients. With particular expertise in teaching communication and workplace conflict resolution skills, Catherine has made a marked difference to the organisations she has worked with. She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive styles that support harmony, productivity and progress in the workplace.