The Employer

by: Carole Fawcett (

The first thing you notice about Grant is his friendly smiling face.  The second thing you notice about him is the fact that he has a tremor.  It is the tremor of Parkinson’s disease.  He drew the early onset straw apparently, but shares that there is much progress being made with this disease.  His optimism is well worn and contagious. 

But that is just the kind of guy he is – optimistic.   The point is, Grant, who owns a successful business has made a huge difference in the life of one of his employees. His understanding may go deeper, due to his own life challenge…..but in a different way.

As the Owner/Manager of a large management company, he refers to all those who work for the company as being part of a team……almost like a family. His management style is to empower his employees by acknowledging their input in a positive manner.

It was brought to his attention that an employee was struggling.  Not showing up for work on time, losing weight, exhibiting erratic behaviours and generally having some life difficulties.  Other employees were expressing their concern.  The grapevine was spreading some information about the employee having had addiction challenges earlier in life. 

It seemed that the employee had relapsed and was once again using opiates.  Grant shared that the employee was a good human being and a valuable employee. Grant held no preconceived notions and only wanted to help the person find the answers and make the changes to ensure his life was happier once again.

So Grant reached out to a friend who was able to put him in touch with people who work with addictions.  With a deeper understanding and armed with knowledge, Grant was then able to broach the subject with the employee, asking how he could help and assuring him that he wouldn’t lose his job, nor would he be judged.  He opened the door to communicating honestly and clearly.

Grant wants other employers to know that the system works if they are willing to search for the resource supports in their community.  He believes that it is his responsibility as both a Manager and a human being, to be helpful to his employees in any way he can.