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Health Management - Health Challenges - Introduction

Human Resources


Health Management

Health challenges

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.

Addressing patterns of increased sick time

As a supervisor, if you notice your employee seems to absent more frequently or that those absences seem unusual or out of character, pay attention. It could be a sign of something more serious. Taking note means there is an opportunity to intervene and help your employee access services or support that could help them.

What to look for

Does your employee...

  • seem unsettled
  • 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

Keep track

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.

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.

Next: Recognize the signs