Process of Making Referrals
- Your attitude of sincere interest and helpfulness toward an employee in need is most important.
- The mutual decision regarding referrals creates the best climate for helping an employee, unless he/she is seriously disturbed and unable to accept such responsibility. (See section on "Seriously Disturbed Employees.") Threats or involuntary referrals make for hostile attitudes and/or unmotivated clients.
- The purpose of the referral should be made clear to the employee, and you should explain how EAP could assist her/him with the problem. The referral is voluntary and it is a good idea to offer alternative appropriate resources as well.
- Timing is important. When an employee is receptive toward a referral, offer to pick up the phone and make an appointment for her/him in her/his presence.
- Reassurance is important. Assure her/him that seeking help doesn't necessarily mean that he/she has serious problems. There are many kinds of referrals. The best one is the one that the employee will respond to. Depending on the situation, have the employee consider friends, clergy, family members, community agencies, and resources through their health care providers.
- Contact a counselor at EAP to share pertinent information about the situation. If you decide it is important to share information about the employee with the EAP staff, it is courteous to talk with the employee beforehand and discuss why you wish to outline relevant information on their behalf.
It is important to note that when an employee is in acute stress, referrals are most effective when you escort the person to the EAP office. When you call ahead and make an appointment and merely suggest that the employee see a counselor, the likelihood of completing the referral drops.