As a business owner, it is important to always assess the upkeep of your employee’s workplace. It is not just about the physical conditions of your office area–it can also mean the overall culture and environment that the workplace represents.
Some administrators are so out-of-touch with those they manage, that they are surprised to find out problems that are blown straight to their faces. It’s like lifting a rug, only to find a swarm of dirt and bugs underneath the surface. Drug use has been a problem for some business owners.
In the recent statistics, it has been shown that stresses in the workplace can cause some employees to use drugs. There is a 12% increase of workers using drugs since 2015, based from the random urine samples across several industries. Employees commonly use cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines to deal with work stress and problems in their personal lives.
The hidden use of drugs in the workplace will not only wreak havoc in the safety and reputation of your business, it could even cost your employee’s health and overall quality of life. Therefore, it is important to keep your business substance abuse free.
What are some ways to maintain a drug-free workplace?
1. Reduce the stress that your employees face in their daily job tasks.
If you suspect that drugs have been making the rounds in your business, it may not be ideal to make head-on accusations. Instead, try to think of the root causes of why your employees may be using drugs. It could be the amount of stress they face during work hours, the unrealistic requirements and workload you place on your employees, or perhaps they are dealing with personal issues and find substance abuse as a form of escape.
Your role as a leader is to provide open discussions of how you can reduce stress in the workplace. It could be in the form of giving them flexible schedules, equal distribution of work loads, or providing them with equipment or tools to make their tasks easier. Unless your employees cause a reasonable amount of trouble, you must meet them halfway to understand their needs.
2. Address the people involved privately.
Do not make hasty generalizations about who you think uses drugs in your office. You can require your employees to do random drug tests when necessary. If needed, it may be helpful to address the people who showed positive results to open up about their drug use. Usually, people who can still balance a job while being on drugs are not as severe in addiction as those who commit crimes or present violent behaviors. You need to have some form of empathy to understand where they are coming from. Some resorted to drugs because they felt like they had no choice or they were dragged into it–it wasn’t a genuinely willful decision.
You can ask questions such as why they got into drugs, what you can do to help them, and give them options on different treatment options. Do not humiliate your workers by harshly reprimanding them in front of others.
3. Present wellness programs where your workers can participate.
To be actively involved in your employees’ wellness, you can present them programs where they can participate. There are many holistic drug rehab centers that people can attend in, where clients can be given sessions to help them address the problem in a healthy way. These include a combination of several lifestyle changes, counseling, and in-house therapy to keep your employees sober.
If it is possible, you can offer these programs for free. Your employees will see this as a great opportunity to improve their lives, and will be ultimately grateful for your generosity. You can also host retreats, open forum discussions, and other lifestyle programs that will keep them away from unhealthy recreations.
4. Be visible.
Everybody has heard of the phrase, “When the cat is away, the mouse will play.” This may sometimes be true for managers who may not fully be aware of the workplace affairs that occurs behind the doors. There will still be employees who will try to test the rules and will keep you bending backwards just to keep everything in place.
The simple act of being visible in your workplace is important. You can have brief chats with your workers, get to know them a little bit personally, and bring in a positive, non-intimidating attitude can bring wonders to your employer-employee relationship. If this is not possible, you can always have a subordinate who can do this for you. Being “in the loop” and making known to them that you are actually “in the loop” will keep your workplace free from substance issues.
5. Don’t forget to remind.
This principle is important for those both your seasoned employees and those who are newly hired. It will be helpful to posts reminders such as “This is a drug-free workplace”, or simply give them printed information about how they can avoid or recover from substance abuse.
If you have a large pool of employees, this is a great way to efficiently disseminate information. Providing reminders will help your workers increase their self-awareness and motivation to stay away from drugs. Additionally, you can encourage your workers to report any suspicious activity that they may see during work hours.
6. Train your managers and administrators.
In-service training for managers and administrative workers can help you save time and increase your reach in the campaign against drugs in your workplace. Through such training, managers will be able to detect signs of substance abuse, which protocols should be done to test a suspicious worker, and what are the consequences of drug use.
Your administrative staff will be able to present this information to your workers in their respective departments, ensuring that all bases are covered and all concerned parties are aware. When your employees understand the gravity of the consequences, the more that they are likely to stay sober in the workplace.
When it comes to substance abuse in work, it is important to keep an eagle’s eye with your employees. Constant awareness and prevention will save you from trouble’s of accidents, workplace damage, or negative publicity caused by drug abuse.