Did you know that ignoring an individual employee’s health – both mentally and physically – in the workplace could cause irreparable long-term damage to your organization’s success as a whole?
Since your businesses’ most important asset are its employees, it’s crucial that they have access to the right tools and resources to address issues that may be occurring in both their personal and professional lives. Many companies have sponsored Employee Assistance Programs, work-based intervention programs that are designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be affecting their ability to perform at work.
Traditionally, these programs have primarily addressed drug and alcohol related issues, but in recent years have expanded to also include the tools and resources necessary to handling child or elder care issues, relationship challenges, financial and legal problems, health, and wellness concerns, and more. Typically, the program is provided at no cost to employees, and services can be delivered via phone and video calls, online resources, training, and in-person programming.
Studies have shown that Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have been instrumental in reducing lost worker productivity and the potential for employee injuries, particularly within the transportation and manufacturing industries.
EAPs are a proactive measure to help your business identify and address addiction issues before they escalate. This allows for early intervention, particularly before a serious incident on the job has occurred. The program also offers a cost-effective solution for you as an employer to prevent, detect, assess, and refer any affected employees to the right resources to stem the mounting costs associated with drug and alcohol substance abuse in the workplace.
The Department of Labor highly recommends incorporating an EAP into your company’s existing drug and alcohol policies and programs for a variety of reasons. First, it acknowledges that your employees are a vital part of the team and a valuable asset to the company as whole. It also provides them with the tools and resources necessary to address serious drug and alcohol issues as opposed to just terminating their employment immediately. Recovering employees are then offered the opportunity to return to work and become valuable and effective team members once again.
To nurture an effective EAP, your company needs to clearly communicate both the EAP and the drug and alcohol abuse policies in place to all employees. This, coupled with offering the right educational resources and tools, sets clear guidelines and expectations for employee behavior throughout their employment with your organization. And, if your company provides any financial assistance with external rehabilitation services, you’ll want to communicate that option as well.
Paired with an established drug testing program, both can act as a valuable deterrent for employees to avoid illicit substances both on and off work property. The EAP can act as a referral program for employees who confidentially ask for help. Also, referring employees that have tested positive for a substance outlined in your company’s drug and alcohol abuse policy via your EAP, is another solution instead of termination. An EAP also provides managers and supervisors with the necessary training on addressing these issues with their employees on a regular basis.
Random drug and alcohol testing paired with a corresponding EAP will protect both your employees and your company as a whole and improve overall productivity and morale. See how working with a third-party provider like Professional Drug Screening Services, Inc. can dramatically improve your organization’s safety, efficiency, and profitability. Visit our website for more information.