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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

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    Published on October 8, 2019

    How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

    How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

    The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

    The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

    By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

    1. Define What Success Is for You

    There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

    Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

    2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

    Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

    Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

    3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

    It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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    By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

    4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

    A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

    One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

    5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

    You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

    Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

    6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

    If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

    Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

    7. Pick Up Some New Skills

    Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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    By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

    8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

    Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

    If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

    9. Make Yourself Indispensable

    Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

    It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

    10. Get Off the Fence

    People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

    If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

    11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

    If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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    Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

    12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

    If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

    Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

    13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

    Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

    Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

    14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

    Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

    A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

    15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

    The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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    Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

    16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

    Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

    Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

    17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

    It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

    Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

    18. Join a Professional Organization

    The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

    Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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    Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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