Title page for ETD etd-11122008-171210

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Simelane, Smangele Nomkhosi
Email ssimelane@carewaysgroup.com
URN etd-11122008-171210
Document Title Perceptions of supervisors regarding their referral role within the Employee Assistance Programme
Degree MSW
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Dr F M Taute Supervisor
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • supervisor
  • perceptions
  • referral
  • EAP
Date 2008-04-21
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of the research has been to explore perceptions of supervisors regarding their referral role within the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Traditionally supervisors are expected to identify troubled employees and refer them to the EAP. Therefore, the study will help in identifying perceptions on the part of the supervisors and improve knowledge as to how they perceive their referral role within the EAP.

The researcher did an exploratory study in this qualitative applied research, since her intention was to gain understanding of the perceptions of supervisors regarding their referral role within the EAP. It is the aim of the qualitative approach to understand the meaning that individuals attach to their everyday lives. The population consisted of 30 EAP client companies of The Careways Group in Gauteng. The researcher interviewed 12 respondents from three client companies, who had 20% or fewer supervisory referrals. The 12 respondents were selected as the sample through non-probability sampling, utilizing a purposive sampling method. Five of the respondents were working for Nashua Mobile, four were working for Computer Share and three were working for New Vaal. The empirical data was gathered by means of a semi-structured interview schedule. A tape recorder was used to record the interviews and put data into transcripts. All respondents signed an informed consent form (Appendix D). An in-depth literature review was conducted about the benefits of an EAP, types of referrals, responsibilities of a supervisor, resistance to utilise the EAP and addressing supervisorsí referral problems.

Findings indicate that supervisors need comprehensive training regarding the EAP, which should also be linked with other management trainings. Supervisors believe that they are the key figures in implementing the programme because they work closely with employees, but they are not confident enough to implement the programme due to lack of knowledge. Supervisors indicated that the EAP plays a minimal role as a management tool and there is a need to re-position the programme based on the needs of the organisation. There is a general view that as the needs of the organisations is changing, so should the focus of the EAP.

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