Businesses and how they should deal with problems related to employee substance abuse

Being a small business entrepreneur, it is always your responsibility to deal with those employees who aren’t meeting up the professional standards just because they aren’t following the rules of the company. If you suspect violation of rules and yet you do nothing about it, things gradually get more and more complicated. Majority of the businesses have some kind of rules and regulations on drug abuse, whether in the form of strict prohibition of illegitimate substances or some kind of policy to come to workplace in a sober manner. Whenever you suspect an employee is violating the rules, it is tough to prove with evidence. But thankfully, there are few steps that you can take to make sure your actions are beneficial to all who are involved.

Your company’s substance abuse policy should be clear

Your foremost job is to ensure that the abuse policies of your company are clear to everyone. In the employment manuals, they should be mentioned explicitly and the upshots for violating the same should also be highlighted. As per the Drug Free Workplace Act, there are few compulsory stipulations like distribution of controlled substances, prohibition of manufacturing them but some other policies are entirely to your discretion.

Identify the symptoms and signs of workplace abuse

No, your employee won’t have the audacity of stumbling into work drunk intentionally but you can notice the signs and symptoms of abuse issue if it starts interfering with his performance. The NCADD or National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence publishes a list of symptoms and signs that you should watch out for. They are:

You may even have other employees coming and informing you that someone is actively engaged in substance abuse in the office premises.

Initiate a word or two with the employee

Depending on the performance and history of the employee, you may try to initiate a conversation with the person you’re talking to and observe his behaviors in front of you. Or you may even have a closed-door meeting and warn them about their deteriorating performance. You just have to be formal and explicit about the warning. Either open yourself to a comfortable level or have a candid conversation about what you’re going through.

Take some disciplinary action

Assuming that there is no progress made with the warnings and conversation and you have already got enough evidence that the employee isn’t performing up to the standards, your very next step is to take disciplinary action. This has to be dependent on the standards of the policy, the severity of infringement and consider their first offense. No matter what, consider your disciplinary action carefully.

So, when you’re the owner of a small business, you have to be sure about the steps that you take in order to eliminate substance abuse in your workplace.

Author Bio: Lee Weiss is the CEO of Elev8 Centers, who provides comprehensive treatment for substance abuse in New York, Massachussets and Pennsylvania. Lee is an experienced operator, consultant and investor in the residential and outpatient substance abuse industry.