Management consultation services are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to church leaders and other managers of people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who need assistance with a difficult management or employee performance issue. Administered by Cigna, the services include information, support, and counseling.
To take advantage of these services, call 866-640-2772. You will be put in touch with an employee assistance consultant who will help you to assess the situation and determine what to do. Employee assistance consultants are licensed master’s degree-level clinicians with backgrounds in theology (see bios below).
- a problem surfaces or a crisis strikes;
- you encounter a situation that makes you stop and wonder, “How should I handle this?”;
- someone’s work is suffering because of personal concerns;
- you find yourself worrying about an employee’s welfare.
Management consultation services fall into four broad categories:
- informal referrals;
- formal management referrals;
- critical incident response services;
- guidance for other concerns.
You can also offer the EAP to individuals on an informal basis (a self referral) as a way to help them deal with personal problems that aren’t yet affecting their work performance.
Formal Management Referrals
You can make a formal management referral to the EAP as a way for an employee to get help for personal issues that may be affecting work performance. A referral to the EAP can be mandatory and a condition of the employee’s continued employment. An employee assistance consultant can work with you to help you decide which type of referral is appropriate and how to proceed. You also will be directed to consult your organizational policy and/or HR representative as you make your decision.
Use a formal management referral when
- you observe a pattern of performance issues and/or disruptive behavior;
- you want to use the EAP as part of a performance improvement plan;
- you want confirmation of an employee’s follow-through with the EAP referral process and recommendations.
Critical Incident Response Services
These services through the EAP help you handle the impact on work of any workplace event that may cause psychological stress or trauma.
Examples of critical incidents include
- major organizational change and workforce reduction/reorganization;
- employee death/serious illness;
- natural disasters;
- mass transportation accidents;
- threats of violence or terrorism.
As part of the critical incident response services offered through the EAP, Employer Service Hours (ESHs) can be used by PC(USA) churches, employing organizations, and mid-councils to benefit plan members
- through planned wellness seminars
- by meeting training needs
- by responding to an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster, a reduction in force, or violence in the workplace
Advance approval requirements apply.
Guidance for Other Concerns
An EAP employee assistance consultant can help with a multitude of issues that arise in the workplace — and elsewhere — that affect one’s work life.
Examples of other concerns they can help with include
- job performance issues, such as absenteeism, disruptive behavior, and interpersonal conflicts;
- potential substance abuse;
- violence at work or home;
- suicide risk;
- return-to-work issues.
With the counsel of an employee assistance consultant, you can better encourage and support your employees during difficult situations and get help dealing with employee performance issues that arise.
Cigna Consultants for Church Leaders and Managers
Dan Ahlfield, MA, LP, LPC, CEAP
Dan Ahlfield is a licensed psychologist, certified chemical dependency counselor, and certified employee assistance professional with a particular interest in the spiritual components of treatment. Since 1991, Dan has served primarily as an employee assistance consultant for Cigna. He also maintains a small, private counseling practice, specializing in general mental health, substance abuse, and marital therapy.
Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in counseling.
Pam Meier, MS, LPC, CEAP
Pam Meier is a licensed professional counselor and certified employee assistance professional. She has extensive experience working for employee assistance program (EAP) providers, including for Cigna as an employee assistance consultant since 2007.
Before joining Cigna, Pam worked in the long-term care and substance abuse fields and served on the staff of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Pam has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education – social studies and a master’s degree in counseling.