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Drug Free Workplace Manager Communication Tips

March 31, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Let’s face it having a talk with your employees about drug use is probably the last thing you or your managers really want to deal with. Unfortunately, the wide spread use and prevalence of drug abuse make this a more common problem than you might realize. Use these quick tips to make sure your manager or supervisor is effective and compliant with the rights of the worker and employer.

  1. Documentation. Objective facts matter. Use performance reviews, attendance records and other relevant documentation when discussing performance related issues.
  2. Don’t Ignore it. The problem will get worse not better. Avoid potential injury or liability issues by addressing the issue before it becomes a problem.
  3. Do NOT discuss Alcohol and Drug use or try to diagnose the problem. Stick to the facts even if you suspect something more. Implement the proper protocol designed to address the situation. For example, if it is standard procedure to use drug testing after any accidents then do so immediately in full compliance with established routines then wait for the test to validate or negate your concerns.
  4. Never cover up or protect workers. You are enabling them, decreasing morale among other employees and putting your company at risk.
  5. Limit comments and actions to those directly impacted and verified by documentations for example, attendance records, performance and productivity measures, complaints from other workers and so forth.
  6. Protect employee confidentiality. Remember, the results of employee drug testing may be construed as health or medical related information and is therefore protected by law.
  7. Understand the proper procedure and lines of communication outlined in your company policy and manuals. Ask questions in advance if there are areas of concern or questions you are not sure about.
  8. Dont rely on memory. Document the facts as they happen and refer back to the documentation whenever communicating directly with the employee.
  9. Make sure all employees are informed. Don’t single out an employee even if you suspect a problem. Instead, make sure all employees are aware of the company’s policy on substance abuse and testing as well as consequences for violations of that policy.
  10. Enforce the policy. One of the strongest messages you can send is to enforce the Drug Free workplace policy consistently and fairly. It won’t take long before your business is known as a safe and drug free workplace.

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