Counselling and Rehabilitation

Some people think that it is important for a supervisor to able to diagnose the existence of an alcohol or drug problem.

This is a risky strategy as supervisors have not been trained to diagnose alcohol and drug problems. This is best left to health/alcohol and drug staff. The supervisor’s role is to focus on performance management, not trying to identifying symptoms of drug use. If you try to ‘symptom spot’ you are likely to make mistakes. On the basis of performance management, you might identify there is a performance issue and as part of your response formally or informally provide the opportunity for the individual to seek expert advice and support.

This is more consistent with the usual role of a supervisor and indeed, most supervisors are more comfortable with this role as opposed to taking the risk of second guessing why performance might have deteriorated.