With the growing use of drugs in the United States and legalization in many states, the negative impacts of this abuse can be felt everywhere. Offices and workplaces are also affected by the prevalent abuse but this can lead to a very negative impact on the business and eventually decrease your profits too if not curbed at the right time. Obviously, drug-dependent employees are highly likely to create problems at work, stay absent and not work as efficiently as their counterparts. In order to maintain a healthy and safe environment in your office, a strict drug-free policy must be in place.
Here are some of the tips that every company should follow to ensure a drug-free workplace!
1. Develop A Written Policy
The first step towards a drug-free environment is having a legally compliant and active drug policy which is frequently being revisited and implemented in the workplace. The policy should outline completely the consequences and the rehabilitation procedures in the office and the bars and consequences outlined in local laws. If the company has a health insurance policy then it must cover rehab so that even if an employee falls prey to addiction there is support for them.
2. Frequently Train Employees
Although the employees should be proactive in learning about the company’s policies, HR should conduct awareness workshops and training in the office. The training should help the employees learn about the drug-free policy and the supervisors should be trained on what should be done in situations where someone has used drugs at the workplace or has come to the office under influence. A protocol for handling such direct confrontations is necessary to avoid an unpleasant environment in the office. Additionally, supervisors should be able to spot problematic behavior and take steps at the initial stages.
3. Build A Support System
As much as we have stigmatized the usage of drugs, we still can not abandon the people around us. Co-workers are people that we spend almost half of our day with and if one of them is getting into something dangerous then it is our responsibility to help them. Each employee should be advised to report to their supervisor if they feel something is wrong especially if someone with a history of abuse is showing any signs. Try to identify these people beforehand and have a strong support system so that they never feel depressed and lonely again. The company can lend a hand by partnering with recognized rehabilitation centers and by providing Employee Assistance Programs.
4. Random Drug Testing
Trusting your employees is an important part of building a healthy work environment; however, with the growing use of drugs, it is important that random drug testing be conducted at your workplace. This will always keep the employees in check and would allow you to filter out the troublemakers and get help to those who actually need it! These random tests can act as an efficient deterrent to employees and allow them to prioritize their work over a small period of pleasure which can cost them their career. Although, this is something that should be incorporated in the drug policy and allowed by the local laws. It should also be clearly communicated during the on-boarding process.
5. Keep An Eye Out For Red Flags
The success of a drug policy and extensive awareness campaigns is contingent upon the company’s employees and key management. Implementation of these policies is definitely a core to achieving a drug-free workplace but if the employees watch out for any red flags in their fellows. Only then would there be a safe and healthy environment. This does not necessarily mean that you snoop into people’s personal lives but common signs like irritability, depression, isolation, frequent absenteeism, bloodshot eyes, evasion of responsibility, and uninterested in work. These are some of the most common identification marks of a drug user, so if you look closely towards the people that sit with you every day you may be able to help them.
Running an organization is nothing short of a nightmare but if you create a safe and healthy space for your employees then anything will be easier. If you find an employee abusing drugs in the office do not name and shame them. Instead, talk to them and get them the support they need. Become an inclusive and supportive organization so that you thrive even more with dedicated and loyal employees!