Motivating Employees to Accept Help with
Performance-based Intervention
(Consider this approach only in coordination with the EAP and your human resources specialist.)
If performance problems have continued, and your employee has never accepted a supervisor referral to the EAP, you may eventually decide to dispense a disciplinary action. At this point, more leverage exists to motivate your employee to accept the supervisor referral than ever before. This is particularly true if the disciplinary action is termination.


1. Meet with your employee and discuss the performance problems. Tell your employee that you have decided to dispense a disciplinary action (if warranted, and appropriate for the behavior or performance problems.)

2. Tell the employee, however that you are willing to accommodate him or her by holding the disciplinary action in abeyance, and permitting the employee to seek help at the EAP if he or she thinks that would be helpful. Otherwise, you will pursue the disciplinary action right away.

3. If termination is warranted, this intervention technique is powerful and will produce a great sense of urgency for your employee. Most employees will accept a referral instead of a disciplinary action, especially termination.

4. If your employee agrees to an EAP referral, contract to have him or her sign a release of information to permit the EAP to verify attendance and participation in its recommendation.

This technique, called Performance-based Intervention, can salvage the most difficult and troubled employees, even those with severe personal problems including alcoholism and drug addiction.