Tommy has been a consistent employee, coming in on time and undertaking his tasks perfectly. In fact, HR had shortlisted him as one of the candidates for the employee of the month award. However, things changed. Tommy started missing work regularly and he became withdrawn. A routine substance test showed that Tommy was on drugs. This shocked everyone.
The manager had forgotten that drug abuse in the workplace is becoming more and more common. Many businesses are spending up to 10 percent of their annual payroll trying to rid their workplaces of this behavior. This is because studies have shown that employees who are on drugs affect the overall performance of the business. Most businesses have recorded improved levels of productivity after putting in place measures to curb the drug menace at the workplace. Before you take any step, you need to know how to identify an employee who is on drugs.
Declining Work Performance
Substance abuse reduces the performance of the employee drastically. This drop will be easily noticeable. For instance, you will notice a previously focused individual losing interest in work. The victim will come in late regularly and leave early. The individual will have unfinished tasks or submit low quality work on regular basis.
Increased Cases of Absenteeism
It is normal for an employee to be absent occasionally. However, there is a standard way to communicate the absence. Additionally, the cause of the absence has to be valid and logical. An employee who is using drugs makes absenteeism a habit. The rate of missing work increases with time. Time may come when he or she doesn’t turn up for work at all. The funny thing is that the employee may not offer any explanations regarding the cases of absenteeism.
The employee starts avoiding co-workers. In most cases, you find the employee in a secluded place far from colleagues. The reason behind this is that the victim thinks co-workers will notice signs of drug abuse. Additionally, interpersonal relations become strained with increased cases of hostility towards fellow workers.
Increase in Risky Behavior
An employee who is on drugs becomes reckless and careless. The worker ignores any safety procedures put in place to handle tasks at the workplace. For instance, you will find the employee tackling risky jobs without any protective gear at all. This endangers the lives of other employees, and increases the probability of workplace injuries. This may end up increasing the cost of compensation, and affecting your business reputation negatively.
Noticeable Physical Signs
A person who is abusing drugs displays changes in physical appearance that you can easily notice. Frequent irritability, instant loss of weight, poor personal hygiene, poor grooming, and fatigue represent some of the signs you will notice. Additionally, the pupils will be dilated or constricted depending on the type of drug the employee is using. As an employer, you need to be keen to notice any of these pointers so that you make the right step.
Why Drug Testing is Vital at the Workplace
You shouldn’t take anything for granted at your workplace. It is only through drug testing that you can confirm the extent of this problem in your workplace. Apart from monitoring your employees behavior and productivity, make periodic drug tests mandatory for all employees. If someone at your workplace seems to have a problem with substance abuse it is important to address the issue in a caring way. Providing an option such as a men’s rehab for a struggling individual can be a helpful way for someone to fix their problem.