Combating dependency on the job.
Many companies report that alcohol consumption and drug use are major problems. The substance abuse that currently affects one in four Pennsylvania households is also a big negative for the workplace.
Major corporations and small businesses alike must deal with:
- Loss of productivity and poor performance
- Lateness and absenteeism
- Safety concerns
- Adverse effects on employee morale, company image and customer relations
- The view of drinking & drugs on the job has changed dramatically. No one wants to have their job affected, or be hurt by, a co-worker with this kind of problem. In one survey, 70% of manual workers supported a total ban on drinking during work hours.
We specialize in helping a business to take action that can assist employees and also minimize risks to the company.
The case for a business helping a troubled employee:
A business of any size has a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its people, as far as reasonably practical. Knowingly allowing someone to continue while under the influence places the person and others at risk, possibly leaving a firm open to legal liability.
After making an investment in a worker, a company should prefer helping rather than firing to resolve a substance-abuse issue. A smart business will want to do what it can to help a troubled colleague in whom they’ve made an investment in training, time and compensation. Employees respond positively when a business takes this course!
It’s true that tackling employees’ personal issues can be daunting, especially for businesses without a human-resources manager or Employee Assistance Professional. However, dealing with existing problems and preventing others can save time and money in the long run.
Here are the two major steps a company can take to deal with the challenge of employee addiction.
The first step is a straightforward written policy that deals with alcohol/drug problems at work. It does not need to be long or complicated, but should cover:
- Reason: why have the policy, who does it apply to?
- Rules: expectations of employees’ behavior to ensure that alcohol/drugs do not affect their work or safety
- Help: what support is available to employees, and information on alcohol/drug abuse
- Confidentiality: assurance that workers’ records or treatment will be private
- Disciplinary Action: the circumstances in which the company will act punitively
As for taking action with a particular employee, the best second step is to contact us.
For more information, call our Workplace Services office: 215-638-5200, ext. 112.