Nine Characteristics Successful Workplace Drug Testing Program for All Size Businesses
Obviously, your company will not be the first firm that has adopted a drug policy for its company. The good news is that you can learn from what has worked successfully for these other companies and can use that knowledge when implementing your own drug free workplace.
A drug testing policy for your company is not something which should be taken lightly. You need to give the process careful thought and write out the policy so that the information is clear and well-explained. Think about the ramifications of your choices, too. For example, if you want to offer drug treatment, consider who will pay those fees.
Talk to Workers
Because the policy directly affects your employees, getting their feedback and allowing them to assist you in developing the plan is a wise choice. They will more likely accept the policy without complaint if they’ve had a role in its development.
Write the Policy
Something as important as the drug policy for your company absolutely needs to be in writing and should be readily accessible to all employees. Copies should be hung around the offices and should be distributed to the workers. The policy should also be added to the employee handbook. Having the policy in writing is important because the rest of the staff needs to see that the policy is being applied fairly throughout the company.
Involve Unions, if necessary
When your company has a union, you need to include its representatives in your discussions of the policy as well. They will review the policy with their members’ needs in mind. Additionally, they could offer you valuable assistance because the union’s representatives have probably experienced these negotiations and discussions in the past. They may even be able to suggest certain drug policy models that would help you with your efforts.
Employees are very concerned about their privacy, especially when it comes to something as personal as drug testing results. These results should never be publicized to the office at large. You also want to implement procedures that will keep the sample free from tampering and from observation by other members of the staff.
One of the main concerns your workers are going to have is that the drug testing results will be inaccurate. To reassure them, you should stress the precautions taken against such a possibility. Explain that double tests are performed on the specimens, federally certified labs are being used, and employees have the right to request a re-test before any disciplinary action is taken against them.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you’re concerned about the threat of lawsuits over your policy, the best prevention is to have a lawyer experienced in employment law to review your policy. He or she should be able to point out potential legal problems or areas which may need further clarification. Remember to take this step before showing the policy to your employees.
Make Drugs a Health Issue
You will have more impact on drug users in your workforce and on other employees if you present the policy as a health issue. This can be accomplished through drug awareness and education programs hosted by professionals in the field. Remember to set the example of how drug abuse should be treated in your company: not with scorn but with compassion and concern.
Having open communication with your staff about drug testing is essential to its success. Their feedback can help you improve the policy and the programs associated with the drug testing procedures. If they are freely able to voice their concerns, you will have a chance to defend and explain the policy so that the workforce will come on board with little resistance and reduced morale.