Supervisors and department chairs play a key role in creating and maintaining positive work environments, in which staff and faculty members have the opportunity to be healthy, productive, and successful.
Sometimes, supervisors and chairs are up against organizational changes and resource limitations that challenge their best efforts to maintain such a "positive work environment."
Frequently, they are in a position to observe (or hear about) individuals who are struggling and work relationships that are difficult. Warning signs may include:
- Chronic absenteeism or frequent tardiness
- Deterioration of job performance
- Poor communication
- Withdrawn behavior
- Lapses in personal hygiene
- Frequent or careless accidents
- Complaints from others
Services for supervisors, department chairs, and human resources staff
Individual and organizational consultation
- We encourage you to consult with FSAP about concerns small and large, preferably before they become (or create) a crisis.
- FSAP can provide guidance or strategies for working with employees who have personal problems or whose behaviors are causing poor job performance, interpersonal conflicts, or a hostile work environment. We can help you think through referrals to FSAP or other resources.
- FSAP also offers consultation on responding to larger group issues such as organizational change, workplace stress or conflict, communication difficulties, poor morale, and other personnel and climate concerns.
Crisis response and management
- Crises do happen, FSAP is prepared to assist with crisis intervention and crisis management.
- We work closely with the university's team of crisis managers to provide individual services, community support meetings, debriefings when an individual or work group is impacted by a community loss or other tragedy, and other services.
- If you are concerned about a faculty or staff member who is in crisis, please call FSAP immediately.
- If you are dealing with an emergency, call the Cornell University Police (911 from a campus phone, or 607 255-1111).
Education about FSAP
- FSAP staff members welcome the opportunity to attend department, staff, and committee meetings to put a face to the FSAP and talk about the services we offer. These brief encounters can help "normalize" the fact that all of us experience stress from time to time, destigmatize help-seeking behavior, offer reassurance about confidentiality, and provide examples of how FSAP staff can provide another perspective, explore strategies and solutions, identify relevant resources, and facilitate connections to appropriate services.
- At certain times of year, demand for core services may temporarily limit our availability for this kind of outreach.
Making a referral
- You may be in a position to inform individuals about FSAP services and/or encourage them to seek assistance through the FSAP.
- When you have concerns, it's important to address them as soon as possible. Most problems continue to deteriorate unless confronted; early referral provides a better chance for a successful outcome.
- Meet privately with the employee to discuss your concerns. (Don't discuss the problem with anyone except the employee, your supervisor, human resources, or FSAP staff.)
- Don't try to diagnose the problem; talk about observed behaviors, feedback from others, changes in attitude, communication, work performance and relationships.
- Explain FSAP services, why and how you think they might help, and provide contact information.
- Making an FSAP appointment is up to the staff or faculty member. You may want to assist, if the employee requests your help.
- Please be aware that because FSAP services are strictly confidential, our staff cannot share any information with you about a specific person (even whether an appointment was scheduled) without that person's permission to do so.
Your consultations with FSAP are confidential.
So are the consultations of others. Please understand that all information about our clients is completely confidential (even the fact that they are clients). However, we may still be able to provide general information about how to understand, provide assistance, or get help for a person or situation you describe.
And confidentiality does not limit what you can tell us regarding your concerns about someone else. In certain circumstances, an FSAP staff member may be able to reach out to a person of concern when others may not feel it is appropriate for them to do so.