March 15th, 2013 Posted in Drug Free Workplace | No Comments »
Continuing the discussion on where in your organization your drug-free workplace belongs, besides your safety department, your human resource department could be an excellent choice.
Strictly speaking, a human resource department helps manage an organization’s workforce. The individuals in this department are usually responsible for hiring and firing protocols, reviews, engaging unions (where applicable), employee training and development and numerous other tasks. By necessity, these individuals keep an eye on labor laws and are knowledgeable about employer liability as it relates to employees. Managing the operations of a drug-free workplace program fits perfectly within the skill set and interest of human resource departments.
Consider the following statistics about substance abusers:
- They are 33-50% less productive than non-abusing employees.
- They miss three more weeks of work per year than their counterparts.
- 50-80% of all workplace theft is attributed to substance abuse.
Productivity, absenteeism and theft are all issues that a human resource department deals with. So doesn’t it make sense to house your drug-free workplace program here?
Education and training are critical components of a drug-free workplace program. How can a company expect employees to follow a policy if they aren’t informed? And for those in a company already abusing drugs and/or alcohol, research has shown that these employees can improve their situation with proper re-education and, in some cases, intervention. The costly tolls in human capital can be related to physical and mental health, relationships, and financial security – all of which can be at risk when a person has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and other drugs. These workforce issues directly impact the functioning of an organization and thus can logically fall within the purview of the human resource department.
Placing your drug-free workplace program inside your human resource department can convey to employees how much you value them and help underscore the impact substance abuse has on their ability to do their jobs.
It is a logical place to house your program, the question ultimately comes down to, is it the message you want to send? Is there a better message you want your employees to know about how a drug-free workplace impacts them. We already talked about a program’s impact on safety, but what about how a program can impact your employees’ health? That will be the topic of next week’s post.