Al‑Anon helps an employee get back on track

Barbara Leach, Director of Human Resources
Virginia Beach, VA

As a Human Resources professional, dealing with questions about benefits, payroll deductions, or time off is the easy part. The more difficult situations arise when an employee’s attendance or job performance is at issue. In most cases, personal concerns have spilled into the workplace, affecting the employee’s focus and productivity.

If the problem at home is alcohol-related, I pull from my file of resources information about Al‑Anon. I explain that Al‑Anon provides help and hope to the friends and family members who are affected by someone else’s drinking. I keep Al‑Anon literature handy along with the toll-free meeting information number. I encourage the employee to go to a least one meeting.

I had the pleasant experience of one employee who followed my recommendation to attend just one Al‑Anon meeting. She came to me several months later and thanked me for encouraging her to attend that one meeting. One meeting became many meetings, and many meetings led to the beginning of calmness in her life. In addition, her supervisor has also been pleased that his employee is now back on track.