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EAP and Email questions

Shelly Wexler tells her supervisor, Rob Levine, that having to care for her aging mother is forcing her to leave work early and is making her feel increasingly "stressed out." While Rob refers her to the company's EAP, he also tries to convince her to put her mother in a home for ages and even gives her some information about nursing homes in the area.

A) Do you think Rob is just showing ordinary concern for his employees, or do you think he is overstepping managerial boundaries? Discuss the supervisor's role in implementing and EAP.
B) Should a supervisor try to diagnose an employee's personal problem? Why or why not?

Does E-mail Decrease Employee Productivity?

A recent study by EdWel& Co., a Chicago-based consulting firm, examined the use of e-mail at Fortune 500 companies. The study revealed high levels of inefficiency in both message quality and usage patterns in company e-mail systems. Some people received 80 to 100 e-mail messages per day, and the average e-mail user received about 15 messages per day and spent almost 50 minutes merely reading the messages. Because half of the messages were likely to require a response, it was not uncommon for email users to spend one quarter of the workday reading and responding to e-mail communications.
The study also found a disturbingly high percentage of ineffective, poorly written e-mail messages. More than 65 percent of all e-mail messages failed to give receivers enough information to allow them to act effectively on the message. Lack of organization and clarity, poor grammar, and misinformation were all cited as common problems. The constant barrage of less-than-useful e-mail messages disrupts work flows and robs employees of productive time.

1. Management has asked you to develop a set of e-mail guidelines that addresses the problems identifies in the EdWel study. What are your recommendations?
2. Do you think employees should be trained in the use of e-mail?
3. What should be the goals of the training?
4. How might the training be delivered to employees?

Solution Preview

Shelly Wexler tells her supervisor, Rob Levine, that having to care for her aging mother is forcing her to leave work early and is making her feel increasingly "stressed out." While Rob refers her to the company's EAP, he also tries to convince her to put her mother in a home for ages and even gives her some information about nursing homes in the area.

A) Do you think Rob is just showing ordinary concern for his employees, or do you think he is overstepping managerial boundaries? Discuss the supervisor's role in implementing and EAP.

The manager may think he is helping, but using the EAP to "convince" someone to place an aging parent or otherwise deal with the parent is objectionable and not the intent of EAP programs. The EAP is a way to provide information about assistance and how employees can access that equipment. It is not for use as a bargaining tool or a coercive way of dealing with an employee's problems. The supervisor's role is to make available the most complete and applicable information and choices to help the employee decide on such personal decisions.

B) Should a supervisor try to diagnose an employee's personal ...

Solution Summary

A brief discussion on application of EAP principles and manager's use of EAP. Also, a discussion on whether email decreases efficiency and quality of communication within corporations.

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