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5 Ways HR Can Handle Drug And Alcohol Misuse At The Workplace

April 25 2023 - People most often think of HR in connection with the hiring process. However, you will also be responsible for creating company policies that need to be followed throughout the organisation. One of the risks that you need to address is drug and alcohol misuse. Even though there might not be anyone who struggles with such substances, you should have a policy that sets clear rules. And if you get into a situation where you need to solve such a problem, you should have a clear set of guidelines that you will follow. Crafting the policy and educating your employees should be some of the first steps that you take. When things get more serious, you might want to consider screening. Our tips will help you to understand how to handle drug and alcohol misuse at the workplace from the HR perspective.

Put Together A Drug And Alcohol Policy

Developing a drug and alcohol policy is one of the first things that you should do. It should set clear expectations for employees regarding drug and alcohol use at work. With a strong policy in place, you could create a safer workplace and increase productivity and morale. During the process of crafting the policy, you should involve key stakeholders such as management, legal counsel and employee representatives. That could help you to ensure that the policy is effective and comprehensive at the same time. Make sure that the document covers any testing procedures and includes consequences for violating the policy. The policy should be easily accessible to your employees. For instance, you could include it in an employee handbook. Remember to review the policy regularly and update it as needed.

Conduct Drug And Alcohol Screening

Drug and alcohol screening could help you to identify employees who might have a substance abuse problem, but it could also serve as a preventive measure. There are many differences in screening methods, such as urine, saliva or blood. Companies like AlphaBiolabs could also help you to carry out a hair drug test. The frequency of testing might depend on the industry, the responsibilities of the employees, and company policy. Before you carry out any testing, you need to get your employee’s consent. Drug testing at the workplace is completely legal in the UK, but you need to ensure that the employee agrees with it. If any results come out as positive, you need to have a plan on how to respond and handle the situation. Protect the privacy of the employees and make sure that the testing is strictly confidential. If you decide to include drug and alcohol screening in the company, review the policies periodically and stay up-to-date with the legal requirements and industry standards.

Keep Your Employees Educated

Once you have the drug and alcohol policy in place, you need to make sure that all the employees understand it. Educate them about its importance. You should also explain any risks associated with substance abuse and the consequences of violating the policy. Provide them with any training and resources that might be helpful. Try to tailor the education to different groups of employees and make sure that they understand their role in enforcing the policy and maintaining a safe workplace. Review the education plan regularly and add or remove information as needed - based on the latest legislation, trends, and changes in the company policy. It’s also important that you monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your education efforts. That way, you can ensure that they’re meeting the needs of employees and are helping you to achieve the desired outcomes.

Create A Supportive Environment

There is a chance that some of the employees within the organisation might struggle with substance abuse. However, they might be scared to step up and seek help. As an HR professional, you need to make sure that you create a supportive environment that makes all the employees feel heard and understood. The first step you might want to take is to reduce stigma and promote a culture of support. Engage employees in creating such an environment. But how could you do that? Getting feedback and ideas from your employees could give you some of the answers and help you to create an environment that’s tailored to employees in the company. You could also promote employee wellness and implement practices that could reduce the risk of substance abuse, such as wellness programs or mental health support services.

Make Your Employees Feel Supported

Today’s working environment can be extremely stressful, and employees in the company might feel like turning to substances is their only solution. To mitigate the risk, you need to create an environment where employees can feel supported and heard. Make sure that all the workers understand the risks that come with substance abuse and help them to improve their overall well-being. Promote a culture of honest communication and encourage your employees to open up when they’re struggling. You should be ready to provide them with solutions they might find helpful and support them on their way to recovery. Once you build a supportive culture, you might be able to keep talented employees for longer and strengthen their loyalty towards the company.



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