employee assistance

Cooler Heads Prevail: How Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help with Anger Management


We all have come face-to-face with the natural emotion of anger. Whether it is at home, school, or work, anger is something we feel and have to work through as human beings. When it comes to dealing with employees and their anger, that’s a different story. Work should be a safe environment where your team feels unified and productive. Sometimes, anger can come to the surface when working with one another, but if anger is not dealt with properly, it can quickly get out of hand. It’s important as an employer to have a plan for anger management and to deal with it right away. We want to help you, as employers, and talk about the ways anger can manifest itself in your workplace and how to correctly go about handling it. Many of the tips we share are a part of our Employee Assistance Program. It’s designed to strengthen your team emotionally, mentally, inside and outside of work, and to create a seamless work-life balance for your employees.

employee assistance angerEmployee Assistance Programs are designed to strengthen your team emotionally and mentally, inside and outside of work.


How Anger Can Manifest Itself in the Workplace

Anger can bubble up in many different forms depending on the employee. Statistics show that men are more likely to act out in an overt way in response to stress. Eighty-five percent of workplace violence was perpetrated by men, according to the Justice Department. In addition, statistically, one out of four of your employees are angry at work. Anger can manifest in the form of absenteeism, bullying, theft, reduced productivity, low morale, aggressiveness, and much more. Most workplace violence started with anger that turned into something much larger down the road. Some behavioral signs to pay attention to are:

      • Sarcasm and moody behavior
      • Emotional/obsessive on the job
      • Aggressive behavior
      • Inconsistent/irregular work performance
      • Makes direct or indirect threats
      • Overreacting to situations


How to Handle Anger in the Workplace

It’s so vital to not ignore any small signs of anger you see in your employees. It’s also important to pay attention to your leadership team’s opinions and input. Equipping your management team with training to be aware of anger management issues within your team is so valuable. If you as an employer are experiencing fits or rage of anger as well, make the time and effort to invest in yourself and talk to a counselor and/or friend you trust. Your emotional health and that of your leadership team determines the health of the rest of your team and business. So what do you do if one of your employees acts out in a fit of rage? Usually, the underlying cause of anger is some form of fear.

The first thing to do is try your best to not react back right away. If it’s not physical, it’s best to let the situation diffuse before talking to the employee. This will help them regain some ability to communicate and figure out what they’re feeling. Take time once everyone is settled to talk to the employee one-on-one. Bring a manager alongside you if you feel it’s necessary. Some great ways to work through/resolve anger in your employees is to get them emotional support through a counselor and an Employee Assistance Program like ours. As an employer, you want to try and understand your employees but not get too involved in their personal lives/issues. It’s best to keep those relationships professional!


Question: My employee is quick to get angry. It’s scary. It includes getting red in the face and shaking, even when playing cards on lunch break. Some coworkers think this is funny. Frankly, I am a little nervous. If he had a personal crisis, could he “go off”? Should I be concerned?*

Answer: You have enough information to document this situation and to be rightfully concerned about it. Consult with the employee assistance program and discuss an interview approach that will support a successful constructive confrontation and EAP referral. The EAP will role-play with you the best approach. Be sure to talk to your employee in private. You don’t have to wait until the next incident, but it will be helpful to have clear examples of the behavior that is concerning, its impact on others and work productivity, and what you would like changed. Certainly don’t ignore the next opportunity. Your employee likely has a keen awareness of his explosive style because others outside of work have either remarked about it or been victims of it. Coworkers should be discouraged from finding this behavior as a source of entertainment, including taunting the worker. Employees with explosive rage can act in violence while feeling detached from their ability to control their behavior.*


Benefits of our EAP for Anger Issues

employee assistance teamIf you’re struggling to resolve anger management issues within your team or yourself, an Employee Assistance Program is a great tool with which to start. Our team is comprised of experts with years of experience in this area and other forms of employee personal issues. Care Plus Solution’s counseling program included in our Employee Assistance Program provides 24/7 access to a personal counselor over the phone. Our counseling services also include access to assessments, referrals, and case management services. We also have many useful resources for you as an employer to use, everything from our Critical Incident Response, Legal Services, Work-Life Solutions, Wellness Solutions, and so much more.


Care Plus Solutions is America’s first EAP and is headquartered in New York and has offices in New Jersey. Over the course of the company’s 46 year history, their brand has remained firmly rooted in the rich history of the EAP field, never losing sight of the fundamental purpose of the EAP; delivering personal and quality services to those in need. It is fair to say that Care Plus Solutions is the gold standard in the field of Employee Assistance.


* Copyright ©2019 by DFA Publishing & Consulting, LLC.


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