As employers, we value safety and productivity in the workplace. After all, healthy and productive employees are keys to business success. This is why more and more businesses are investing on various health and wellness programs for their employees, from mindfulness training to developing a drug free workplace program.
This might be a tall order for most private companies, especially with the recent developments in the legalization of marijuana in almost half of the states. Some employers are caught in between, especially when the situation involves creative employees in private companies – how should they deal with employees that do not comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act – considering lawsuits have been filed against employers for invasion of privacy, wrongful discharge, defamation, and discrimination?
Although private companies are not legally required to have drug free workplace policies of any kind, many firms have sponsored elaborate and extensive pro-grams to control alcohol and drug misuse since 1980. They believe that positive results in drug tests are related to impairments in job performance, attendance, and safety in the workplace.
With seven out of ten employees admitting to having drugs while at work, causing a $100 billion unrealized productivity due to substance abuse, what kind of employer would not be concerned?
So how can company owners promote a drug free workplace this 2020? Read on and find out.
How to Promote a Drug Free Workplace
1. Create and implement a strong and detailed policy
If you do not have an existing policy, create one. Be aware, however, that it will be best to seek the help of lawyers within your state as they are aware of the current drug policies that apply to you. They have extensive connections and resources to draw information from. Hiring a lawyer might mean an additional expense, but considering the benefits of having a drug free workplace, that added expenditure more than makes up for the cost.
2. Create a positive company culture
In this day and age, employees are no longer satisfied with perks and benefits, no matter how great they seem to be. Surveys show that a positive company culture – one that recognizes efforts, allows room for growth and flexibility of options, gives a sense of empowerment – makes happier, more productive, and more responsible employees who care about their jobs. And when an employee cares for his job, he knows the repercussions of taking drugs while at work.
3. Engage with your employees
How many employees do you have? Do you know them by name? Are you aware of the jobs they are doing for you? Do you have drug users in your company? If yes, do you have an idea why? Are they using it off work, as a form of recreation? Or to escape problems that seem to overwhelm them?
How would you know that Mr. Green, one of your most creative and exemplary employees, is suffering from chronic pain due to a vehicular accident a few years ago, and as a consequence, needs to take Amitriptyline, a drug that can cause a false positive, if you do not engage with them?
Without knowing that piece of information, you might fire him due to noncompliance with your drug free workplace policy. This might backfire if Mr. Green sues you for wrongful discharge and discrimination.
4. Perform regular drug testing
Some of your employees might disagree with this – but if you have a well-written policy that includes having a periodic drug test, a positive company culture with engaged employees – they will understand why this procedure needs to be done.
Having a drug free workplace will not only increase your employees’ productivity, lessen their absences, and ensure safety in the workplace. It will also help them live better, healthier lives for years to come.
For more topics like this, visit the Ovus Medical Blog. It contains information on drug testing in the workplace and related topics.