As an employer or human resources employee, you want nothing more than for your workplace to remain happy and healthy. Unfortunately, for many businesses, drug use can often tempt and plague its employees, resulting in a loss of productivity, workplace accidents, and an unhealthy environment. With drug use rapidly taking the country by storm, the number of people resorting to drugs, whether legal or illicit, means more and more employers must ramp up their awareness of this dire situation. Though it’s virtually impossible to fully eliminate workplace drug use, there are a few strategies you can employ to maintain a healthy workplace. The most important thing is to keep in mind is that all employees are human, and there are many reasons why individuals may resort to drugs; stress, personal issues, peer pressure, and genetic predispositions are all common conflicts that push employees toward the comfort of drug use. There are also many different types of addiction, and it can be something as tragic as becoming dependent on a prescription medication. Nonetheless, it can result in unwanted issues at work that any employer strives to avoid. So, here are five ways to encourage a happy, healthy workplace.
1. Be Full Present and Involved
One of the most powerful tools an employer or HR employee can utilize is being actively involved in daily activities. It’s easy to fall into the rut of slaving away in the comfort of your office and just having your employees report back to you. However, having an open door and open dialogue policy can create an advantageous opportunity for employees to feel comfortable coming to you with their problems or struggles before resorting to other methods, such as drugs. Being actively involved also promotes good work ethic among your employees. Though it may be hard to resist coming off as stern when it comes to the topic of drugs, keeping the office space welcoming ensures your employees will not feel intimidated by you and turn elsewhere for help.
2. Utilize Regular Training Sessions
Frequent training sessions are a great way of staying involved with your employees. These types of training sessions aren’t just for improving synergy and production levels—there are also training sessions designed specifically for decreasing drug use in the workplace. Many drug-free toolkits exist on the market today which aid in promoting a drug-free workplace through education programs and team building activities. By educating your employees about the dangers of drug abuse and how to be a supportive community amongst each other, these toolkits can help reduce the chances of drug use affecting your company. Make this a regular part of your workplace training to ensure that everything taught is a present daily reminder in your employees’ work.
3. Establish Rules and Policies
Make your expectations for your employees crystal clear from the beginning. Be very open about your zero tolerance drug policy among your employees, but be careful not to come off as too severe. This goes hand in hand with being involved, since it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your employees. Your employees should feel they can come to you with such matters, and everyone can freely discuss any personal or professional issues they are experiencing. The workplace toolkits mentioned before often have essential items that help employers establish such rules and expectations in a casual yet firm manner. This can be helpful for those who wish to set rules but are afraid it may cause turmoil in their office.
4. Enforce the Rules
Enforcement is key. Enforcing your guidelines can be difficult, but it is important to demonstrate that your policies are in place for the betterment of everyone. Routine, random drug tests are a great way to maintain your zero-tolerance policy without making your employees feel like you’re targeting them specifically. The most common route is to hire a local drug testing company; however, this measure can often feel awkward and embarrassing and cause scheduling issues during your workday. Luckily, there are also drug kits from Confirm Biosciences on the market which offer in-office accurate results while remaining discreet, noninvasive, and convenient. In the case that one of your employees is under the influence, it is important to follow the guidelines you have established. This will remind your employees that you are consistent with your enforcement of the rules and guidelines you set, which may prevent others from finding themselves in the same situation.
5. Watch for Red Flags
Remember that educational workplace tool kits and drug screenings can only take your company so far. No matter what tools you use, it is still important to actively watch for any signs of drug use among your employees. If you’ve noticed any of your employees showing up late, appearing disinterested, neglecting their responsibilities, appearing with bloodshot eyes, slurring their speech, or completing skipping work altogether, you must address these as possible signs of addiction. In the case that an employee does fall victim to drug use, keep in mind that every situation is unique and have an open, honest conversation with that individual. From there, you should follow through with the company protocol you have set forth.
Maintaining a healthy workplace is perhaps the most important aspect of running any business or company, and a large part of your healthy space involves keeping the environment drug free. So, while there is no actual foolproof way of preventing drugs from consuming your employees lives and bleeding into your work environment, these strategies can significantly reduce those chances.