Employers need talented employees in whom they can place their trust to do their agreed-upon work duties with few personal issues disrupting the process. Drugs in the workplace may negatively impact employee performance, personal health, and workplace safety, according to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA). (1)
Why Is It So Important to Create and Maintain a Drug Free Workplace Program?
Establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace through the development of supportive, encouraging, and centrally posted policies and procedures can boost business by helping to attract the right kind of employees to help the organization grow without disturbances associated with drugs in the workplace.
Here are a few additional benefits to fostering a drug-free work environment:
- Improved productivity
- Decreased workers’ compensation premiums in some states (3)
- Shows commitment to employees’ well-being, performance, and future with the organization
- Lower absenteeism
These benefits and others help to avoid costs associated with drug and alcohol use that impact the workplace environment.
How to Enforce a Drug Free Workplace Program
Employers exploring the idea of implementing and enforcing a drug-free workplace program may need some ideas to get started. There are many considerations in taking steps to make sure employees are not taking or using drugs or alcohol, selling drugs, or suffer the effects of using drugs or alcohol outside the workplace when off-duty.
Here are seven ways to help employers better enforce their own drug-free workplace programs.
1. Draft a Written Policy
The creation of a written workplace policy regarding drugs is essential to get started. This document is critical since it lays out your plan that must align with labor laws and avoids discriminatory practices. With a fully documented policy, it is easier for employers to respond to calls of discriminatory enforcement.
Once completed, employers can create abbreviated messages for strategically placed digital workplace signs. (5)
2. Train Supervisors
Supervisors must stay informed and help support their employer’s vision and plan for a drug-free workplace program. Supervisor training should include learning the signs of workplace drug use and the protocol for handling confrontation of employees suspected of drug use. (6)
3. Educate Employees
It is important to help employees feel included in the process of enforcing a drug-free policy at work. By keeping employees informed, they understand the health and safety risks that drug use may pose to all employees. The right training and education also help employees understand the negative financial impact on the business through decreased productivity and increased healthcare costs. With information, employees can become partners in such an effort. A drug-free workplace poster, an inspirational video on your employee message boards, regular newsletter articles, and meetings can help reinforce the policy to employees.
4. Provide Information for Employees to Get Help
Creating a drug-free policy that features sympathy and a genuine interest in helping a valued employee struggling with drug use is just as essential as forbidding drug use. Reach out to and partner with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers relevant education, counseling, and any other wellness resources for employees who want to stop drug use. (7) Such programs allow employees to prevent and address substance issues. Studies have shown that this investment in employees on this level is more cost-effective than terminating employment and looking for a new employee for the position.
5. Perform Drug Tests
The possibility of undergoing a drug test can act as a deterrent for employees considering drug use. Workplace drug testing can help them weigh the risks versus rewards and make the best decision for their career.
6. Provide Feedback on the Status of the Program
Without pointing out individuals, share news regarding ways that the business’s drug-free policy has benefited the organization. For instance, with an assurance that the company had a drug-free policy, they might receive special grants and government contracts that benefit everyone.
7. Inform Prospective Employees About Drug-Free Policies Right Away
During the interview process, employers should let prospective employees know the organization’s workplace drug policy. The sooner candidates see the policy, the better for both parties.
Start Developing Your Drug and Alcohol Policy in the Workplace and Ways to Keep Employees Well-Informed
Keep supervisors, employees, vendors, and customers informed about your organization’s drug-free workplace policy to inspire compliance that leads to a healthier, safer, and happier work environment for everyone. Our electronic message boards can help you share information to keep everyone on the same page, working toward the most productive atmosphere possible.