Shocking statistics shows that 68% of adults with substance abuse problems (both alcohol and illegal drugs) hold down either a part-time or full-time job. This can be a cause for concern for employers, as employees under the influences are likely to be less productive, less reliable, and more likely to cause on-the-job accidents or injuries. The obvious way to prevent this is random drug screenings, but your efforts should not stop there. Here are a few more ways to help keep your workplace drug free.
Have a Written Drug-Free Policy in Place
Your first line of defense against drugs and alcohol in the workplace is to have a drug-free policy that is written out and posted. It can be published on the company website, in the employee break room, and in various other places around the office. A drug-free policy should include three parts- 1) why the policy was established (such as to encourage safety, improve productivity, etc.), 2) what the expectations are placed on employees, and 3) how employees will be punished for violating the drug-free policy. The punishment you choose is entirely depending on your own preference for the company, and may include anything from probation to mandatory random drug screenings to termination.
Create a Positive Workplace
Another effective way to prevent the use of alcohol and drugs inside and outside of the workplace is to create a positive work environment. Some ways to do this include annual company activities (think a cookout, or a day at an amusement park), rewarding great employees, giving constructive criticism, and helping employees work to improve, instead of putting them down. When employees are more satisfied at work, they will naturally be more satisfied with life. This can reduce the likelihood that they will develop a drug or alcohol problem.
Make Sure Your Policies Are Well-Known
There are quite a few ways to be sure that your drug-free preference is known. First, make sure that you mention it in employment ads for your company. While you may receive fewer applications, those that do apply will be less likely to have a drug or alcohol problem. You can also post signs sending this message in the break room, conference room, and anywhere else employees accumulate. Finally, set and implement penalties for drug and alcohol abuse. If you have suspicions, test employees and make sure that you follow through with the penalties (even if it means termination).
There are many places to send an employee for testing whether it be a blood laboratory, family doctor, urgent care or an individual company like Workflow in Orlando FL.
Offer Programs to Employees Who Admit They Have a Problem
The final way to keep your workplace drug free is to encourage employees who have realized that they have a problem to come forward. This should be encouraged if the employee comes forward prior to causing an accident or failing a drug test. Once the employee has admitted they have a problem, offer them a term of probation until they meet your requirements. This could mean passing random drug screenings, attending Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, or going through treatment at a detox center. Once they have met your requirements, the probation period will be lifted. When you help employees, rather than immediately terminating someone admitting they have a problem, it makes it a lot more likely that employees will come forward and discuss their drug problem, without the fear that they will be terminated.
A drug and alcohol-free workplace can only be achieved if you are willing to take the steps to make it happen. Things such as establishing a policy, creating a positive workplace, making the policy known, and offering treatment to employees that come clean can really make a difference when it comes to discouraging drug and alcohol abuse.
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Lautaro Martinez is a small business owner and freelance writer who contributes articles relating to running a business smoothly and effectively. If you would like to learn more about Lautaro, you can check out his Google+ profile.