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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.