Workplace drug use has been on the rise over the past several years. In 2016, a report by Quest Diagnostics found that 4.2 percent of all urine tests came back positive. This is the highest rate since 2004.
The report also showed an increase in the use of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines by employees. This information may scare some employers and business owners.
In addition to the legal implications of using drugs at work, an employee is putting the well-being of other staff at risk. They’re also bringing down the overall quality of day-to-day business operations.
Many people now feel that testing employees for drug use are an invasion of their rights. However, as a business owner, you have the right to ensure your workplace is free of drugs.
If you’re considering drug testing employees at your business, but aren’t sure if it’s the right move, keep reading.
1. Employee Productivity :
As a business owner or office manager, you’re likely aware of the impact productivity has on revenue. One of the biggest detriments to an employee using drugs while working is a decrease in that employee’s productivity.
Depending on the type of drug they’re using, an intoxicated employee could experience fatigue, confusion, and an overall lack of concentration. This makes them incapable of doing their job properly.
Drug use can also drain an employee’s motivation. If they’re in a position of authority or leadership, this lack of motivation radiates throughout the entire team. Soon, deadlines get compromised and tasks fall by the wayside.
In today’s competitive business environment, you can’t risk this happening. One or a number of employees bringing down your overall productivity can result in your client base choosing your competitor over you.
2. Safety :
It’s your obligation to provide a safe workplace for your entire staff. In fact, it’s your legal responsibility.
Now, if an employee is secretly using drugs or alcohol at work, they’re the party at fault. However, if you want to fully ensure the safety of your office or facility, drug testing employees is a good idea.
Drugs and alcohol can inhibit a person’s judgment, response time, and alertness. This is especially dangerous in a manufacturing or warehouse facility that requires the use of heavy machinery.
It could also be extremely dangerous in a retail environment where customers are physically on the premises.
Oftentimes, drug use can even affect a person’s performance the day after. This means an employee could consume the drug out of work the night before and still have clouded judgment the day after.
3. Lower Insurance Rates :
This point goes right along with workplace safety. Businesses that have detailed alcohol and drug policies along with screening programs often see better insurance rates, especially concerning workers’ compensation insurance.
In the eyes of the insurance companies, drug testing employees reduce the chance of accident or injury. With this decrease of risk comes a reduction of cost.
Again, this is seen more prominently in industrial workplaces. However, it could come into play anywhere.
Check with your insurance company about drug testing employees and see if this lowers your rates.
4. Better Quality Work :
When you hire employees, you trust that they’ll provide a quality of work applicable to their position.
You’re also trusting that your staff can perform at a certain level without constant supervision from you or a manager. An employee who’s abusing drugs or alcohol at work may take advantage of this, resulting in a decrease in the quality of their work.
Drugs and alcohol have a huge effect on a person’s performance levels. It impairs their ability to multi-task, communicate properly, and maintain an appropriate level of professionalism.
This could lead to unsatisfied clients and even loss of business. In more severe cases, it could lead to a conflict between the employee and the client.
If a worker is ready to accept the responsibility of their position, they’ll likely be fine with you drug testing employees.
5. Avoid Conflict in the Workplace :
The last thing you want is fighting or disagreements between your staff. This gets in the way of productivity and also creates friction in the workplace. Pretty soon, everyone is uncomfortable.
Drug testing employees is a good way to decrease the chance of this. Why?
Drug and alcohol use in the workplace can lead to mood swings, erratic behavior, and other disruptive symptoms. This is the perfect recipe for inner-office conflict.
If a staff member is a drug user and falling behind in their responsibilities, this could lead to friction and unhappiness in the rest of your staff. Other employees may feel they’re having to pick up another employee’s slack. Soon, your workflow is completely out of balance.
A big part of employee retention is providing a fulfilling and healthy atmosphere. Screening for drugs is a great way to maintain good energy in your office.
6. It’s Cost-Effective :
You may think drug testing employees is too expensive. However, the cost is surprisingly low when you think about the harm drug use can have on your business.
Take into account many of the things we’ve already discussed. How much money are you losing when productivity gets compromised? If an employee is losing clients due to drug use, how much revenue loss has the company incurred?
If you operate an industrial facility, how much will an accident or injury cost you? Depending on the severity, it could be substantial.
Instead, perform a drug screening and protect yourself from possible financial loss. There are very affordable options on the market, such as this drug test.
7. Find the Employees Who Need Help :
Sometimes an employee simply needs a little help in order to stop using drugs or alcohol. Drug testing employees is a great way to ensure that a person you care about receives the help they need.
If your business is more like a family, this is very important. You may understand the potential of a certain employee and see that they’re struggling in their personal life.
Some businesses opt to work with a staff member who has a problem instead of letting them go. They even provide rehabilitation support to ensure a person gets healthy and continues working for the company.
Most people view drug tests as a way to persecute employee behavior away from work. Make it clear to your staff that this isn’t the case and that you’re there to support them if they have a problem.
8. Lower Turnover Rate :
Any business strives to have a low turnover rate. It’s an indication that employees enjoy their jobs and also means you have a staff with experience and know-how.
Unfortunately, drug abuse may lead to an employee quitting or losing their job due to a drug-related incident. You can avoid this by drug testing employees.
In this case, you may consider a pre-employment screening for all new candidates. This helps to ensure you’re not hiring someone who will end up a liability.
Keeping your turnover rate low is also cost-effective. Training costs, recruiting, management’s time – all these things add to the expense of hiring a new staff member.
Along with employee retention, drug screening also ensures you’re getting high-quality employees who are harder-working and have good work ethics. These are the kind of workers you want to stick around.
9. Reduce Absenteeism :
Abusing drugs or alcohol can lead to illness. It also may lead to a person’s general lack of interest in their career. All of these things can add to an employee’s absentee rates.
Whether a staff member is consistently calling in sick, tardy, or failing to show up altogether, the result is damaging to your workflow.
This isn’t hard to measure. Think about the last time someone called in sick. It’s likely another employee had to take the reins and perform double work.
This brings productivity down and also hurts staff morale. These are the kinds of things that cause worker conflict we discussed earlier.
By drug testing employees, you’re helping ensure that each member of your team understands and adheres to your absentee policy.
10. Your Business Reputation :
Drug testing employees don’t have to be seen as a bad thing. In fact, it can help add to your reputation as a health-conscious business.
It can also establish you as a promoter of a healthy work environment in the eyes of potential employees. People like to know the company they work for looks out for their entire staff. Doing so increases the quality of your potential candidate pool.
It also makes your business a place people want to establish roots and grow their careers.
Drug screening is seen by some as an invasion. But for those looking for a positive work environment, it’s a sign of a responsible company.
Consider Drug Testing Employees :
The success of your business is largely impacted by your staff. This means you need to ensure you’re employing healthy, stable individuals that value a positive workplace.
Take the success of your company into your own hands and consider drug screening.
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