How to Curb Employee Substance Abuse and Addiction in the Workplace

Your business is an important investment and you will need good and reliable employees to ensure that profit is maximized. However, due to one reason or another, your employees can be unable to perform and provide maximum output. You might consider confirming if they are under the influence of drugs. The following are some of the signs that your employee is abusing drugs.

  • They can suddenly develop a frequent behavior of getting into work late. This behavior is irritating and can cost your business a lot. For instance, your clients are not receiving satisfactory services. Their mood also changes, and they seem to be more irritable, depressed, withdrawn and sometimes excessively talkative after breaks.
  • Employees who suddenly start consuming drugs, neglect their hygiene, and it drops below the minimum required standards. This discourages clients from seeking services or products from your business. It is irritating to be served by employees who look shaggy and smelly, inappropriately dressed and have blood shot eyes. Generally, the quality of their work becomes diminished. This is a clear indication that they have a major problem either at their work place or at home.
  • The signs that your employees are abusing drugs can be evident since the signs are there, but it can be difficult to prove it. Therefore, it is paramount that you approach the situation wisely to avoid false accusations to employees and violating their rights. However, this does not mean that you should shy away from approaching them. Such a situation can be solved simply by confronting them and ensure you trend gently to make them at ease and open up to you on what might be the problem troubling them. This is important because, the above signs can occur in a situation where an employee is mentally ill, stressed or has had little sleep.

Follow the following steps to solve the problem:

  1. You will need to observe and record their behavior. You are not supposed to be diagnosing your employees’ personal problems but at the same time you are supposed to ensure that they are able to perform to the maximum. Thus, you will need to maintain a regular performance and attendance record.
  2. Hold regular discussions with your employees and make sure that other members of staff are there to witness. You can give factual information for instance on situations where employees did an unexpected act. However, do not openly disclose that you suspect they are abusing any kind of drug.
  3. Allow your employees to explain the cause of their behavior. Give a listening ear and also respond positively. In case your employee works in a personal safety place that can affect their safety or the safety of others, then you can involve other leaders especially if your HR officer confirms to you that they suspect that the employee is abusing drugs.
  4. Agree on the appropriate action to take and encourage them to seek for help. However, do not advice on any step to be taken. If your employee agrees to seek for help, ensure you document the agreement, and you can follow up on the progress of the assistance given to your employee.
  5. If at all no progress is seen and sometimes the employee avails him/herself in work under the influence of drugs, then you can declare them unfit for duty. Ensure you have other personnel’s with you for instance the HR leader to act as a witness.

This text will assist people who are facing challenges with employees who are hooked to drugs and are negatively influenced. If you do not have an employee with the above problems, then ensure that you have developed an appropriate drug policy for your employees.