The research study investigates the factors influencing supervisory referrals in Employee
Assistance Programmes. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a work-site
based programme that assists with the dealing of the employee's problem that impacts
on job performance. Supervisory referral is a necessary component and contributes to
the effective operation of Employee Assistance Programmes.
The study was conducted within the framework of a survey. The questionnaires were
designed and distributed to supervisors who had daily contact with employees. From the
result obtained it was evident that there is more than one factor that influences the
supervisors to refer the troubled employees to the EAP. One factor mentioned to be
important in addressing low supervisory referrals is that of a constructive confrontation
strategy. Results from this study indicated that many supervisors are still uncomfortable
with the constructive confrontation strategy. Further research into supervisory referrals is
needed as this is considered to be the backbone of EAP utilisation. If designers of an
EAP are fully aware of the factors influencing supervisors to refer the troubled employee,
the EAP practitioner will be able to provide a framework clarifying the multifaceted
process of supervisory intervention with problem workers.