Last updated: January 30, 2023
If you’ve established a drug testing program at your company, or plan to do so in the near future, congratulations! You’ve taken that all-important first step toward earning a positive return on your investment. That initial return will quickly show itself. Being able to hire drug-free employees will mean you’ll be more productive, have less healthcare costs and fewer workman’s compensation claims, and higher employee morale at the workplace. You’ll also likely see:
- reduced expenses due to frequent employee turnover
- reduced absenteeism
- lower risk of accidents and workplace injuries
All of those are the benefits to be gained from almost any drug-testing program. The good news? You can increase your ROI even more.
Identify your testing objectives
Know exactly what you want your program to do. Your company should have specific, measurable goals tied to your drug testing—accident/injury reduction, reduced healthcare costs, employee morale, reduced theft, etc. Once you settle on the goals that best fit your needs, you can begin to measure how well your drug-testing program helps you achieve those goals. Your current plan may contain elements that you don’t need or are out-dated.
Find out if state laws will reward you for testing
Does your state make drug testing worth your while financially? Believe it or not, some states offer workman’s compensation discounts of 5 percent—or more—to companies that drug test. Other paybacks might take the form of legal protection from lawsuits, or your right to deny workman’s comp or unemployment to employees whose termination or injuries can be directly tied to personal drug abuse. You may check with an attorney or—if you have one—your testing service provider to see whether you qualify and/or to find out how to qualify.
Outsource your program
Some companies decide to do their own testing, figuring in-house will save them money. There are several reasons this might a mistake. Consider these potentially costly downsides of DIY drug testing:
- the cost of training and paying employees to conduct and administer the program
- the cost of equipment
- the increased risk of inaccuracy
- paying an outside vendor to either verify positive results or conduct retests
- risking a faulty chain of custody that may negatively impact your ability to act on test results
- an increased risk of test-related legal action by employees
Pick the right vendor
Not all drug-testing companies are equal. Picking the vendor whose up-front cost is lowest is often a misstep. Your best bet is the vendor who gives you the most bang for your buck in the long run. Look at testing hours and locations, level of expertise, familiarity with pertinent laws, the types of tests available, the length of time it takes to get results, how records are maintained, and client reviews. Top companies will be able to scale services and provide more than simple testing. You may be able to bump your ROI by bundling services with a trusted and reliable provider.
Decide whether to test on-site or off
Off-site drug-testing is not the only way to do business anymore. Your investment involves more than expenses or actual fees paid for service. Saving time saves money.
Let’s say Rick is scheduled for an off-site drug test. Maybe Rick will use the interim to prepare for the test, staying clean for a short while or investigating ways to cheat. On the day he’s scheduled to travel to the test, Rick might take advantage of the approved absence to run a few personal errands on company time. Even if Rick is an upright guy and has company provided transport to and from the test, he’s going to be absent from the workplace for hours. You’re looking at a loss of productivity any way you slice it.
On-site drug testing, on the other hand, has the potential to improve your program’s value and stretch your testing dollar. Rick can’t try to beat the test, because it’s unannounced. He can’t take the scenic route, because he’ll be tested right there at work. Other advantages to on-site testing include the fact that tests can be conducted any time of the day or night, and most mobile testing vendors will maintain chain of custody and detailed, accurate records. Many will design and administer your entire drug-testing program. Since your and your employees’ time is money, this kind of reliable, one-stop shopping can dramatically increase your ROI.