EAP Management Consulting Knowledgebase
A living archive of resources for the development and advancement of
management consulting skills for Employee Assistance Professionals

Defining Management Consultation in an EA Role

Having a standardized definition establishes our expertise

How EAPA Core Technology defines the consulting role:

Consultation with, training of, and assistance to work organization leadership (managers, supervisors, and union stewards) seeking to:

  • manage the troubled employee,
  • enhance the work environment, and
  • improve employee job performance; and
  • outreach/education of employees/ dependents about availability of EA services

How our "experts" define the consulting role:

  1. Works within a multi-client model
  2. Works within a defined role
  3. Is a specialist in the human side of business
  4. Provides support tailored for the manager
  5. Most common requests for consultation
  6. Differences Between EAP Delivery Models

The EAPC works within a multi-client model

  • Solutions must benefit all parties
  • Neither adversarial nor advocating

The EAPC works within a defined role

  • Subscribes to EAPA core technology
  • Consistent with the suite of EAP services
  • "Stay in the box"

The EAPC is a specialist in the human side of business

  • Expert in human behavior and communication
  • Utilizes clinical & organizational knowledge to enhance the customer organization
  • The EAP is a place where managers come to figure out human behavior, which may appear random and unpredictable

Provides tailored support for the manager

  • Clarifies the manager's role and responsibilities
  • Encourages the manager to remain in the management role
  • Develops the manager's insight into employee motivation, skills and perspectives
  • Develops manager's tolerance for diversity of work style
  • Builds manager's skills in performance management
  • Keeps the manager's focus upon employee behavior
  • EAP may be only resource to frontline supervisors who don't have access to management training
  • Reconnects manager with known toolkit [managers want tools... things they can use]
    • Policies and procedures Human resources
    • Progressive discipline; review the performance management steps with the manager
    • Training resources available
    • Other suggested resources within the organization
    • Suggest mentors

Most Common Requests for Consulation

  • The "client dump"
    • Manager is conflict avoidant
    • Manager is overwhelmed, frustrated, intolerant
    • Manager lacks management skills relevant for solving the problem
    • Many managers don't like the non-linear challenges of people management
    • Challenging employees should be regarded as a normal part of the workplace and a common part of the manager's role
  • Job Performance Referral
    • when manager is unclear why this is happening or how to solve it
  • Problems of employee conduct
    • Employee behaviors that manager cannot handle
    • Heightened concern about intensity of employee's conduct
    • Breach of Employee Code of Conduct
  • Reasonable Suspicion of Substance Abuse
  • Employee health
    • Manager concerned about deterioration of employee's conduct or emotional health
    • Assist manager, employee and coworkers with re-integration of employee who is RTW
    • Helping manager influence employee's utilization of healthcare
  • Threat of aggression or violence
    • Possible membership on the threat assessment team
    • Possibility of fitness for duty
  • Conflict between coworkers
  • Training request that masks a behavioral problem
    • Ask the manager what is the need that lead to the training request
  • Assistance with Change Management
    • Planning for a Reduction-In-Force (RIF)
    • Merger/Acquisition/Divestiture
    • Change in management
  • Workplace tragedy or trauma
    • For more on the topic of management consulting during a crisis, visit my online archive at the Los Angeles Chapter of EAPA for my presentation titled "Critical Incident Consulting to Management", first presented to the EAPA conference in NYC 2000
  • Policy consultation - usually proactively initiated by the EAPC
    • Drug & Alcohol
    • Violence or threats
    • ADA

Differences Between EAP Delivery Models

  • Internal Model
    • Greater credibility
    • May be perceived as "too familiar"
  • External Model
    • Benefits from imposed boundary
    • Not familiar with nuances and micro-cultures
    • Challenging to establish trust with managers
  • Mixternal or Embedded model
    • Benefits from imposed boundary
    • On-site improves access and familiarity with customer



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