DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah -- Productivity is important for any business success, but sometimes employees are so overwhelmed by personal or behavior problems that they can't perform at their highest level. Stress, substance abuse or other personal problems can lead to being less productive. Not being able to focus during work can in turn can lead to absenteeism and high health care costs. But no Dugway employee has to manage life's challenges without help.
Meet Susan Lohnes, the Employee Assistance Program coordinator. Lohnes is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist with a vast background in working with mental, emotional and physical health related concerns, such as alcohol and substance abuse, stress, depression and anxiety, grief, family problems, and financial difficulties.
"Dugway's EAP is a professional, confidential and voluntary, work-based program that offers free short-term counseling and follow-up therapy services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems," Lohnes said.
Lohnes emphasized that for some people difficulties at work can come from something as benign as poor communication skills. When communication is insufficient or inaccurate, work productivity and morale can go down. Low morale means that crucial tasks are slowed or don't get done.
"It's important to identify problems and define its boundaries," Lohnes said, noting that having someone to talk with about crafting a solution can make difference. Sometimes it helps to have some to listen and talk over solutions can have a huge impact.
"Any issue that is negatively impacting a person's work performance can be talked about," Lohnes said. "It may feel difficult at first, but by just discussing the problem and beginning to working toward a positive outcome can bring some relief."
For many people there might be concerns about confidentiality and trust. Many people fear that any information shared could hurt their chances for a promotion, bring retaliation, or affect their job security, she added.
"Let me assure anyone who is concerned about confidentiality. Your privacy will be protected," Lohnes stressed. "I am here to help make a difference. Trust is an essential for this program to work and help find solutions."
Lohnes is available for appointments every Wednesday morning from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Dugway Community Center in English Village in room 212. Wednesday afternoons she is at West Desert Test Center from 1 to 4 p.m. at Building 5442 near the Ditto Diner.