Few topics will polarise staff opinion like ‘Alcohol and other Drugs’. Even those who don’t count themselves as abusers of a substance may still see the introduction of a policy around substances (that are effectively consumed in private) as an imposition on their rights and a direct attack on their private lives.
You will find that although substance abuse is actually only being done by such a small amount of people, it will arouse the angst of most of your staff. Why? Because without the correct rollout they will see this as an invasion of their privacy and a direct hit on their rights as workers.
Transparency between staff and management and vice versa is a key principle to staff successfully engaging in work. Staff engagement is an essential ingredient to them maintaining productive and safe workplaces. Failure to use “Awareness” training could ensure that staff remain skeptical and/or suspicious, which could negatively impact their engagement levels.
It’s highly possible that some employees private behavioural patterns or habits may have a direct impact on their professional lives. Depression, fatigue and substance abuse are big issues that will have an impact on any company’s productivity and/or safety goals.
Drug & Alcohol Testing
Some may jump to the conclusion that the first step on the road to insuring the company against these issues is to enforce regulation, or in the case of drug and alcohol, commence random testing of the staff. Some will take the measure of preceding this with education about the test, and while this method is not a bad approach, it doesn’t provide a total solution. These attitudes are based around a strict compliance model that fails to explore the reasons behind why people so strongly object to regulation without first being given an awareness as to why.