You’ve recently recognized the importance of establishing and sustaining a drug-free workplace. You want to increase and maintain a constant, consistent level of productivity and show a commitment to employee safety, among other benefits that come with a drug testing program. Now you want to introduce your drug-testing protocol to your employees in a way everyone can fully understand and appreciate.
A number of resources are available to help you inform your workforce about the policy you put in place, the specific steps involved, and what they can expect from the process. So what, exactly, do your employees need to know?
The personal “why”
Successful drug-testing programs encourage employee buy-in. How? Mainly by outlining the personal benefits drug testing will offer each worker and how it will pay off for the company as a whole. When introducing your program, stress points like:
Drug testing creates a safer workplace. More than 70 percent of drug users are employed, which can put their coworkers in danger. Share a few sobering numbers:
- Substance abuse is no longer a “street” problem; addiction can happen to anyone, thanks to the increasing availability and the increased use of prescription drugs.
- 40 percent of industrial fatalities can be linked to substance abuse.
- Substance abusers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in accidents at work.
Drug testing helps safeguard employee security, health, and well-being.
- Absenteeism is drastically reduced, so coworkers don’t have to shoulder someone else’s load, and productivity remains constant.
- Security is enhanced, because substance abuse—a leading contributor to workplace violence—is eliminated.
- Morale is preserved, because emotional and behavioral problems associated with substance abuse are avoided.
The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance and the US Department of Labor provide resources that can provide you with this type of information, but a top-notch mobile drug testing company should also provide that information, not just on their website, but as part of a full-service program planning package.
The company “why”
Since what’s good for the company is good for its employees, you’ll also want to lay out a number of compelling business-related reasons for drug testing. These might include:
- Drug testing saves the company money by reducing healthcare costs, absenteeism, workman’s compensation claims, and lost productivity.
- Drug-free companies are often eligible for state-sponsored financial perks, including reduced workman’s comp insurance premiums.
- Both of the above can bolster the company’s bottom line, and the money saved can trickle upward to employees, who may benefit from higher wages.
Finally, remind your employees that you have a legal right to conduct drug testing. Explain the fact that drug use at home can result in an actionable positive test at work.
Summarize by emphasizing the positive aspects of your program. Trust isn’t the issue. Prevention and a process designed to identify and help employees with substance abuse problems are the goals. Outline the assistance resources you’ll provide and let employees know there will always be someone they can talk to.
What can you do and how do you do it?
Designing an effective, comprehensive, and compliant drug-testing program isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds. Before you get into the specifics of your protocol, you’ll want to make sure the steps you take are legal. The U.S. Department of Labor provides Drug-Free Workplace Advisor information to help you determine what you can and can’t do.
When you’re sure of your steps and ready roll out your protocol, the Department of Labor offers supervisor and employee training PowerPoint presentations and handouts that can simplify the process.
If developing your own program seems too onerous, you may want to take advantage of services offered by mobile drug testing providers, who will create a tailor-made, compliant testing and training protocol for you.