From the Hotline: Employee Social Behavior Affecting Workplace

Question: What options does an employer have to address concerns about an employee’s social drinking? Although not drinking at work, the employee’s social life has begun to affect the workplace.

Answer: The best practice would be to approach the employee and share the following thoughts:

  • Observations by others (without providing names) and the perception of knowing when the employee has been out drinking the prior evening or “partying.”
  • The desire to remove any negative perception of the employee as he or she is creating a career path.
  • The expectation that the work or business is not negatively impacted due to the employee’s lack of focus and productivity, or absences.
  • The requirement that the employee be an “A player” at all times to the best of her or his ability.
  • That any future incidents of leaving early or coming in late, or of not being focused and productive, may lead to disciplinary action.

Sharing information about your employee assistance plan (EAP) benefit as a resource tool if available and needed, and otherwise focusing only on how the behavior is impacting the business is the best approach at this point. However, should the behavior continue to impact daily operations, take corrective action as outlined in your company policies.