How to Inform Employees about the Company Drug-Free Workplace Policy
Informing employees about your drug-free workplace policy is the main key to make your policy work. However, helping your employees adjust to the policy can be a challenge.
The following are some tips on how to effectively communicate the drug-free workplace policy to your employees:
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of your organization must write a letter informing all employees about the implementation of a drug-free workplace policy.
Listed below are the things that the CEO letter should contain:
- A brief discussion on the risks of drug abuse to the organization (i. e. increased absenteeism, higher insurance cost, more injuries and fatalities, lower productivity, and reduced employee morale.)
The organization’s role in helping employees achieve good health, avoid problems with drug abuse and increase safety.
- Explanation of how the program can benefit the employees and their family, and a summary of the major benefits that the employee will get upon the implementation of the policy
- Introduction to the activities, meetings, and training related to the policy
- Methods about how employees can access the written policy and any accompanying materials
- Reinforce the message from the CEO through a specially tailored communication with supervisors and managers in order to establish consistency and understanding of the policy.
If applicable, arrange a meeting with the union of representatives.
- Make sure that all employees get a copy of the written policy.
If your organization has a website, upload a copy of the policy. Additionally, provide a hard copy in case your employees are not able to download them from the Internet.
- Create a policy fact sheet that will highlight the major points and implications of the drug-free workplace policy.
The following are things that your fact sheet may contain:
- Rationale – State the reason why there is the need to implement the policy, how the policy was developed, and what is expected to do under the policy.
- Rules and regulations – State the dos and don’ts of the policy and specify the substance that employees should not take.
- Consequence and appeal – State the procedures on how to determine if the employee has violated the policy, specify the penalties, and explain the process of filing an appeal.
- Benefits and assurance – Explain how the company will help the employees, state how the company will protect the rights of an employee to privacy, and guarantee fairness and consistency of the policy.
- Hold regular activities to keep your employees reminded of the policy, such as safety meetings, staff meetings, and supervisor training.
Inform job applicants and new-hires of the drug-free workplace policy during the job orientation.
If applicable, provide them an updated employee handbook.
Call for an emergency meeting with supervisors and managers whenever there are changes and updates to the drug workplace policy.
The supervisors and managers should make it a point to inform their subordinates of any changes.
How to Convince Management to Start a Drug Testing Program in Your Company
Having a drug-free company will not only be beneficial to the owners but to other employees as well. That’s why it’s very important that you can adopt a drug testing program right at your own organization. However, it’s never going to be that easy, especially when the management itself is totally apprehensive about it.
Here are some tips on how to convince the management to begin a drug testing program in your company:
- Inform them of the benefits of developing one.
One of the best ways to get their nods is to let them know what the rewards are when you have a drug-free company. These may include lesser conflicts in the organization, more productive employees, lesser turnover, and a healthier working environment for everyone.
To help you out during the persuasion process, you can cite a drug-free company and how the program helps them to become a more successful one and achieve their goals.
- Create drug-related policies.
Sometimes the management would just like to see if you mean what you want to happen. What you can do is to create drug-related policies in the workplace. Make sure that they are very easy to understand and will not be misinterpreted by anyone.
It’s also essential that you can identify the possible sanctions a drug user may face if found violating the drug-related policies. When they see that you’re willing to take on the challenge of leading the drug testing program with your policies, it will be easier for them to give you the blessing you want.
- Stress the laws that govern the development of a drug-free company.
Workplace drug testing is not only compliant with work or contract requirements, but it’s also mandated by law and supervised by various federal agencies. When your arguments will be backed up by proper regulations and provisions of the law against substance abuse, there’s a huge possibility that the management would not mind having one in your company.
- Focus on the long-term cost than the initial investment needed for a drug testing program.
One of the reasons why the management may be lukewarm to the idea of a drug testing program in a company is because of the cost. After all, you can’t start it unless it has its own budget, which will have to come from the coffers of the company. Nevertheless, you can inform the leaders that it’s better to invest now than continuously develop liabilities in the company along the way.
Having a drug user is no joke, and when they are too many, they can already be too costly. They will be unproductive, basically, need more money than the others, and will push those who are not into substance abuse to eventually leave the company for their own safety. With the drug testing program, you can already correct the problems of a drug user, give him/her the necessary treatment so he/she can be more fit to work, and, if it still fails, remove him/her from the organization before he/she does more harm than good.
Drug testing at work is a necessity. It is very important that we all live in a safe environment. The workplace should be as safe as possible to all employees to be able to provide good performance in their job that can help businesses meet the demands of their customers.
Drug testing may not be seen as something significant to some, but the drawbacks cannot outweigh the benefits. In fact, both the employers and his employees are in a win-win situation with a good workplace drug testing policy.
Any person who notices that a fellow employee may be involved in drug use should immediately give feedback to the employer so that accidents may be prevented. Drug testing applicants prior to hiring them is not meant to discriminate or shame them but rather designed welcome them in a safe environment. After all, they seek employment in order to sustain their daily needs.
Not keeping the workplace safe endangers not only the user’s health but also the safety of other employees working in the company. There should be no room for the unsafe use of substances that may affect so many lives.