A top consultant at a firm is a no show at a client installation. The employee’s manager has uncovered damaging information while searching for his missing employee. According to other clients he has arrived late or not at all to previous appointments and has an increasing problem with his temper. The manager finally locates the missing consultant by contacting his neighbor. The employee explains he is having problems due to his wife leaving him and has abused alcohol. He states that he is not an alcoholic and will get his act together. The manager agrees to give him another chance. I agree with the manager’s decision; however I would make attending a treatment program and counseling mandatory.
The No-Show Consultant
What would I do?
Let Carpenter know that you care about what he’s going through, but insist that he take a short paid leave and get counseling to deal with his emotional difficulties and evaluate the seriousness of his problems with alcohol. If the alcohol abuse continues, require him to attend a treatment program or find another job. Clearly the employee was in denial about his substance abuse and needed a wakeup call. The problem would not correct itself until the employee admits to having a problem and commits to dealing with it.
“My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?” – Betty Ford
The employee has demonstrated classic signs of alcohol related performance problems: absenteeism, arriving late, leaving early, arguing with co-workers etc. He has cost the company money by lost time and a reduction in the consultant fee, however it may cost more to hire and train another employee who has the skill and expertise as the problem employee.
It may be in the best interest of the company to invest in an Employee Assistance Program as an added benefit for company employees, which may help...