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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Drug Testing Your Employees

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Drug Testing Your Employees

The subject of drug testing employees is often seen as a taboo. Many businesses shy away from having serious discussions about this practice, especially if they aren’t currently performing regular drug screenings on employees. Before you decide that drug testing is not appropriate for your business, consider the following points.

1. Productivity

One of the main concerns about drug use is productivity. Habitual drug users may not function at the same level as those who choose not to partake. In a competitive business world, underperforming employees can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

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If the person’s drug use is known, and it makes them less useful on the job, their coworkers may become resentful of the situation. This can cause their productivity to fall alongside that of the person dealing with addiction issues. Even if morale isn’t affected, other teammates may be restricted in their productivity if they rely on the less productive employee to complete their tasks before they can proceed.

2. Safety

When it comes to safety, the importance of drug testing cannot be ignored. If someone comes to work in an altered state, they not only pose a risk to themselves but to their coworkers and customers as well. Even if they come to work without being under the effects of illegal substances, the side effects of the substance may also diminish their ability to maintain sound judgment while on the job.

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Having an active drug screening program can help eliminate drug users from the workforce. If the program is widely known, it may also discourage drug users from applying for positions in the company. This allows you to limit the impact of the problem before it even comes through your doors.

3. Integrity

A fundamental part of a successful business is integrity. Most businesses have policies against drug use, regardless of whether the activity is done on the job. If employees are willing to sign any agreements, or acknowledge the drug-free policies and choose to ignore them, this brings their integrity into question. Ultimately, your employees are a reflection of your business, even in their off-hours. By removing problem employees from the ranks, you can improve the trust across the entire organization.

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4. Health Care

Health care costs are a concern for most businesses. Aside from posing an increased safety risk at work, those who habitually consume illegal substances can incur higher medical expenses than other employees. In cases where the business helps pay for health care coverage for employees, rising costs due to drug use may affect the bottom line.

5. Intervention

By regularly drug testing employees, you have the unique opportunity to intervene in the issue. While you can’t force people to change, you may help them face their problem and give them a reason to try and improve their lives. If your company is willing to work with troubled employees, you may be able to offer a supportive environment in which they can regain control of their lives. You have the chance to provide a level of compassion and help someone get to a better place.

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What You Need to Know Before You Start a Drug Testing Program

If you are designing a new drug screening program, you need to make sure you institute policies that work in conjunction with local laws. By carefully crafting your policies, including who is tested and when the tests are administered, you can limit your risk of violating any laws. It is critical that policies are not discriminatory, and that the tests are conducted in a regimented way.

If you do not possess the knowledge required to guarantee you create a suitable policy, seek guidance from legal professionals. They can help you design a program that will respect all applicable laws while still providing the business value by instituting the program.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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