Employees know when they're not on track. When you observe the return of problematic performance and behavior patterns, chances are good your employee is struggling with EAP recommendations. It is also possible that your employee's "willpower" efforts to control symptoms of a behavioral/medical problem have failed, once again. Employees know when they are struggling.
Act with due diligence. Consider a measured response, but contact the EAP. Consider the magnitude of existing performance issues, impact on essential duties of the position, drug and alcohol testing rules where applicable, agreements made with your employee, and other behavioral issues.
The EAP may not know. The EAP may not be aware or suspect that performance problems have returned. Even though reports of EAP follow-through are good, things at work may present a different picture. If you plan to discipline your employee, but struggle with the decision, consider consulting with your supervisor or other advisors first. An employee with years of successful performance following a supervisor referral can struggle again in the future. Most relapses for chronic personal problems occur as a direct result of failure to manage the problem for the long term. Complete relapse may ensue. Still, it does not mean that the magnitude of job problems previously experienced will return. How fast you act to get the EAP involved again can make all the difference.
Consider these steps. 1) Don't wait or dismiss your hunches about the return of performance or behavior problems. 2) Ask your employee why performance problems have returned. There may good reason, which may have nothing to do with past personal problems. 3) Report the return of performance problems to the EAP. 4) Ask that a release remain valid, if appropriate. 5) Manage your employee in the best interests of your organization.