Effective Techniques on Educating Employees about Your Drug-Free Workplace Program
Educating employees about a drug-free workplace program can help them understand every aspect of the policy. Employee education can be a lengthy process which will demand a lot of effort and creativity.
One of the most effective techniques to reinforce your organization’s drug-free workplace policy is to integrate your drug prevention education programs with health promotion and disease prevention efforts. According to studies, a drug-free workplace program that also aims to improve employee welfare is far more effective than those that are imposed as mere policies.
Below are the basic steps on how to effectively educate your employees about the organization’s drug-free workplace policy.
1. Determine your target audience
Aim for all employees in all levels of your organization including the top management, supervisors, and non-supervisor employees. Make sure that everyone in the workplace can learn the risks associated with drug abuse and the benefits of working drug-free.
2. Prepare your training resources and materials that will aid in promoting employee education program, such as hand outs, fact sheets, computers and projectors for conducting presentations, easel pad and markers, and other necessary equipment.
3. Highlight all significant things that your employees must learn about your drug-free policy. Some of the important ones include:
- Rationale – Explain to your employees why there is a need for the policy. If you are operating under a federal law, explain what is required of your company in accordance to the law. Supply general information about the misuse of drugs, the risks associated with drug abuse, and possible solutions.
- Policy requirements– Specify the dos and don’ts of the policy and explain how it can help improve health and safety. Outline the possible disciplinary actions when an employee is found to have positive drug test result.
- Resources for getting help – Explain how employees can access the employee assistance program and identify local resources that are available.
4. Set the location and date for your planned activities
The time and setting of the activities involved in your employee education program may vary depending on the type of strategy you are using. The following are examples of approaches that are commonly used by employers to communicate the objectives, goals, and benefits of a drug-free workplace.
- Set a meeting with department heads to explain the aspects of the drug-free workplace program
- Provide informational materials that will aid employees to understand the program, such as pamphlets, paycheck stuffers, mailings, and flyers
- Host special events or cause-oriented activities that will convey the risks of drug abuse to the people
- Host employee in-house trainings, workshops, and seminar that discuss the relevance of working drug-free
- Only sell food and drinks in the canteen that promote healthy lifestyle
- Sponsor or participate in drug prevention activities locally or nationally
- Create a support group within your company that will encourage employees to join drug prevention efforts
- Create a website that promotes health and safety, which your employees can access. You can also feature blogs in your website to encourage your employees to write articles regarding the importance of a drug-free workplace policy, information about drug abuse and its effects, and share positive experience about working drug-free
5. Integrate your drug prevention education program to health promotion efforts
- Discuss health-related topics to employees. For younger employers discuss how substance abuse can increase the risk to osteoporosis. For middle-aged employees, discuss about HIV/AIDS, as one of the diseases caused by drug abuse.
- Host a stress management program to provide your employees better alternatives to deal with their problems. Facilitate team building activities and retreats that will allow your employees to share their testimonials and stories. Have a counselor for your company, whom your employees can visit and ask for advice.