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6 Types of Workplace Drug Tests on the Rise

6 Types of Workplace Drug Tests on the Rise

Employers testing workers for drug use is on the rise, and it’s not uncommon to be asked for a sample before joining a job. There are a lot of reasons why an employer would ask for a drug test before an employee joins their team. For example, to ensure worker safety, to lower medical costs, to keep productivity steady, or simply to follow state protocol. It’s interesting how drug testing has increased over the last 5 years with more companies joining the trend. If you do a quick search online, you’ll read extensive content on this topic and will also learn more about its importance.

I was thinking about incorporating random drug testing in my organization so decided to research this topic. I was surprised when I found that there are so many different types of tests being administered by companies. I know this would be a great topic to write about especially if you own a business or are planning on implementing such a practice soon.

Let’s explore some of the most common types below.

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First, I’d like to introduce the following chart on random drug testing

    1. Reasonable Suspicion

    This type of drug testing is administered in the workplace only if an employer suspects an employee is using drugs. There are many things which would force an employer to believe this: like lower production, aggressive behavior, or even lack of coordination (mainly construction). If you observe the chart above, you’ll notice how 80% of employers are administered drug tests because of suspicious behavior. This makes sense especially when someone who has been working with you for a certain period of time suddenly experiences a great change in productivity compared to before.

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    2. Post-Accident Testing

    This follows the same pattern as someone who starts drinking after a traumatic event has occurred in their life. If someone has been injured away from work or even on the job, then this can lead to increased likelihood of drug use. This is why many companies will monitor medical expenses of employees to see what they are getting help for. If something stands out as a life-changing event, then they’ll most likely start administering random drug tests. In the end, this is to ensure the employee’s own safety, and so the employee can receive the right kind of help.

    On the chart, you can see how 73% of companies have implemented testing to monitor post-accident situations.

    3. Random Testing

    Mainly administered in sports teams, but increasingly in companies to keep productivity and employee safety high. Random drug testing used to be an issue especially when employees were not aware this would happen, but now companies are making sure new employees are well aware before joining. Random drug testing can occur at any time to make sure employees are clean. 46% of companies are now random testing which is up from 39% in 2006.

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    4. For Cause Testing

    Sometimes, companies will require employees to be tested because they are taking on a sensitive project. For example, if your company is working on a third-party project for an external client, then they might require drug testing for anyone working on their project. This is not uncommon for companies like Apple which manufacture products in China and so will require everyone on the line to be tested. 41% of companies require for cause testing, and this has grown ever since outsourcing increased within the last couple of years.

    5. Follow-up Testing

    If you have been tested and failed the random drug test, then the company has many options available to them. Some will fire you on the spot, while others will require you go into treatment for a specific duration. You’ll either be sent to a third party treatment center or receive help in-house, however, after successful completion of treatment, you will be retested. The follow-up testing can happen immediately, and at a higher frequency too.

    The rate of follow-up testing is currently 30%.

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    6. Baseline Testing

    If companies allow workers to use recreational drugs, then a baseline level needs to be considered. This means employees will be initially tested to establish a baseline level, and then tested against this level going forward. Anything above the acceptable baseline level will demand consequences. Baseline testing is a new thing which is why it’s at the bottom of the chart and many companies have not yet implemented it. The states which allow recreational marijuana are the ones that have a baseline policy in place.

    Final Thoughts

    I believe drug tests can be a vital tool in making sure high levels workplace safety are maintained. It’s also a great way to ensure productivity doesn’t suffer so you can stay competitive in your niche. The only problem I see is testing the employees who didn’t agree to this policy before joining the company. But, those not doing drugs don’t have to worry and are happy to be tested. Going forward, the company has to make it clear to new employees that random tests might occur while employed.

    Featured photo credit: blog.employersolutions.com via blog.employersolutions.com

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    Rizvan Ullah

    Online Blogger

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

    You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

    Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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    4. Show Initiative

    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

    7. Find a Mentor

    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

    Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

    The Bottom Line

    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

    “Half of life is showing up.”

    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

    Remember, your career is your business!

    More About Continuous Growth

    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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