Why early recognition matters
There may be signs one of your staff is struggling with stress, an illness or an injury long before he or she needs to take
time off work. They may not even be aware that they have a medical or health related problem. As their supervisor, you may be
able to talk to your employee and connect them to support services before they need to take time off.
What to look for
Does your employee...
frequently look tired and upset
often seem distracted
have a hard time concentrating
seem increasingly irritable
seem unusually sensitive
seem to have lost interest in people and activities
have a hard time working well with others
seem to be less concerned about their physical appearance
show a noticeable change in their level of productivity
Take note of the day and time that you notice your employee struggling. Record the behaviour you think are abnormal for that
employee. These records will help you decide if the struggles are ongoing or if your employee was just having a bad day.
Everyone has a bad day here and there but if you notice your employee is showing these signs with more regularity you may want
to take him or her aside to talk about it.
These situations can be complex and difficult for supervisors. It’s important to recognize when you need support too.
Through Homewood Health, tailored resources are available to support supervisors.
If you’re concerned about substance use
Substance use (including alcohol as well as legal and illegal drugs) is a health challenge that has its own set of signs to indicate that it
may be an issue. As a supervisor, you are not there to diagnose dependency. It’s your job to notice if your employee is fit for work. If you
think they aren’t fit for work, then refer to the steps in our employee substance use guide for supervisors.
Next: Start with a conversation
Who can help?
Your HR Advisor can discuss your situation and provide advice. If you don't know who your HR Advisor is call HR Support Services at 403-268-5800.