[January 15, 2020] If you don’t think addiction in the workplace is a problem, you may be surprised to hear that it contributes to a loss of over $80 billion dollars in profits for businesses in the US each year. Some reasons for the lost revenues include decreased productivity, absenteeism, theft, increase in sick time, and a high turnover rate.
Considering that over 22 million Americans are currently in recovery for substance abuse issues, it makes sense to invest resources into developing and preserving a drug-free workplace. This may include offering treatment options for team members, staff, and employees that request this provision.
Addiction Affects Work
As long as your staff show up for work and do their job, you may think that you don’t have an addiction issues at your workplace. A good leader will recognize that Functioning addicts can cost the company in many ways, including morale, injuries, and trust. It is estimated that over 70% of those with chemical dependency issues still manage to hold down a job and ‘function’, however there are repercussions. These extend to more than mere profits; addicted individuals pose a hazard to those around them, putting the rest of your team at risk.
Be a Leader
So, what can leaders do? Learn the signs of alcohol and drug use and implement a testing protocol for those suspected of using at work. Intervene when a team member needs help or if you suspect there could be a problem. Be clear about your expectations and increase awareness among your staff about the risks and dangers of addiction in the workplace. There are sites and agencies that offer training, resources, and materials that may help you convey these messages to your team effectively.
Invest in Employee Assistance Programs
The key to addressing employee issues with substance abuse may lie in Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which have been found effective resources for getting people into active recovery. If you lead a smaller company or brand, you may find yourself in the position of trying to provide EAP services to your staff. Some things provided by these programs include counseling services, confidential evaluations, and referrals for resources related to substance abuse, like inpatient detox or outpatient programming.
If you think about what makes a good leader, it may be time to hone your own leadership skills as you combat addiction at your workplace. Practice communication, empathy, organization, follow-through, confidence, adaptability, integrity, delegation, and work on fostering the relationships that you have at work.
The take-away is that team leaders cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to substance abuse and addiction at work; need more help? Call the recovery experts at Sunshine Behavioral health to learn more about reducing the impacts of addiction on your workplace.