Last updated: February 24, 2020
Companies succeed by creating the ability to generate and sustain profits. At the heart of this requirement is developing a staff of personnel and employees who are highly motivated and productive. The process of achieving this situation is complex and demanding, with many factors involved. In today’s environment one of the greatest personnel challenges for many employees is maintaining a drug free environment.
Reduce Losses while Increasing Profits
According to the Council on Alcohol and Drugs, the impact of alcohol and drug abuse can easily approach $1,000 per year per employee. This is estimated to total more than $160 billion per year for American businesses. When drug testing programs are not used, the impact in absenteeism, more accidents, increased medical claims, and decreased productivity are readily evident. When one considers that more than 77 percent of all illegal drug users are full and part-time workers, it is easy to see this is not an insignificant issue for most companies.
When even a portion of a workforce in any company is impaired by drug abuse, the impact on overall morale and safety is a major negative factor. Even employees who do not themselves abuse drugs are affected when coworkers create unsafe and difficult work situations. It is simply a basic requirement of good management to deal with this potential problem in a proactive manner.
Taking Positive Steps
The first step for management is to clearly communicate to all current and potential employees that drug and alcohol abuse are not tolerated. This includes use off the job use if it affects the workplace. Such policies should be in writing, covered during the hiring process, and constantly reviewed during training and other opportunities.
Implementing a drug free workplace program contributes to a better working environment for employees and more effective operations. The process is ongoing and demands that management give it the right priority. In addition to the written policies, an effective program will include:
- Credible and consistent education efforts
- Training of supervisors and management personnel
- Providing access to assistance for personnel
- Effective drug testing programs
Both employees and customers prefer to work with companies that have successful drug free workplace programs. More than 26 percent of all working adults indicate there are substance abuse problems in their families, and 42 percent of those workers admit to being unable to work as diligently as they might because of these and other drug-related issues.
Business owners and managers who wish to minimize errors and problems at work and increase overall productivity will ensure they implement and enforce an effective drug free workplace program.