Alcohol and drug abuse can cause many expensive problems for businesses. In fact, drug abuse and addiction are reported to cost American companies over $80 billion every year, with much of that money spent on absenteeism, healthcare costs, and lost productivity.
Beyond the financial, misuse of these substances can also create costly issues regarding the rest of your team’s social health, not to mention damage to the reputation of your business. In short, the sheer number of problems caused by substance abuse makes workplace drug testing a necessity for those looking to protect their business. Below, we’ll explore the top 10 benefits drug testing in the workplace can provide and how you can get started!
Understanding the Total Cost of Drug Abuse in the Workplace
It’s easy to intuitively understand how drug use can impact an employee’s performance, but what is a drug abuser actually costing your business?
For the employee in question, drug and alcohol abuse can cause:
- Poor decision making or lack of concentration
- Losses in efficiency
- The potential for theft
- Increased odds of verbal or physical altercations with fellow employees/customers
According to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI), alcohol and drug users are also more likely to:
- Use three times as many sick days as other employees
- Injure themselves or someone else; and
- Be five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim
Even more concerning is the impact these employees could be having on the rest of your team. Unless they are working completely independently, drug users can:
- Lower the morale of their co-workers
- Lead to higher turnover rates
- And take up valuable resources which could be better spent on other employees or projects.
With these statistics in mind, let’s explore how an effective drug testing policy and procedure can positively impact your business.
Benefits of Drug Testing in the Workplace
#1: Protect Your Brand
It only takes one embarrassing incident due to drug use to permanently stain the reputation of your business. For example, negative news coverage or a bad review left by a dissatisfied customer can cost your business significantly.
However, you can protect your reputation, your employees, and your bottom line by reducing the possibility of drug usage at your place of business. Although you can’t prevent all drug use incidences at work, you can minimize the risks with the proper drug testing procedures in place.
#2: Provide a Safer Workplace
Drug use in the workplace can often jeopardize the safety of your employees. With impaired decisions and capabilities, performance is negatively impacted, and your team’s relationships may be strained. As a business owner, part of your responsibility is to provide a safe work environment for all your employees. Putting a drug testing policy in place works to protect your employees and promotes the safe work environment they deserve.
#3: Ensure Top Performance
Some users incorrectly believe drugs improve their performance at work. This eventually results in disaster as their work begins to suffer due to their dependency. If you’re concerned an employee may be heading down this road, common signs include failing to complete jobs and assignments or arriving to work late or not at all.
Worse, that employee’s poor performance can affect the performance of those around them. Boosting morale and keeping your employees performing to the best of their abilities is one of your critical responsibilities as a business owner. Drug testing can help you enhance employee productivity while reducing absenteeism and other drug-related work issues.
#4: Keep an Eye on Profits
You’re in business to make a profit. Drug abuse in the workplace can jeopardize your ability to do so.
Employees whose focus is on obtaining and using drugs can be less concerned with job performance and how it impacts profit margins. Any decline in productivity is likely to cost you time and money. However, implementing routine drug testing for your employees can often help minimize these risks and give you better control over your profits.
#5: Deter Drug Use
Initiating a drug-testing program for employees sends the message that you won’t tolerate drug usage. Not only will this hold employees accountable, but it will set high standards for new hires and seasoned veterans alike.
Setting those standards on workplace behavior can deter drug users from applying to your company in the first place and boost morale among your current employees. Testing can also help you identify those who need help with substance abuse.
#6: Reduce Absence and Turnover Rates
Drug users may often be more prone to job-hopping. As their addiction gets the better of them, they may miss days of work until they are either forced to quit or lose their job.
Replacing and training these employees can cost you a significant amount of resources. Accordingly, you’ll want to keep good employees around while reducing absenteeism and high turnover rates. Sending new applicants for drug tests can help you feel more confident in your hiring decisions and your business’s future well-being.
#7: Help Users Get Treatment
Caring for your employees is a natural part of owning a business. If you have an employee with an addiction who wants help, they will likely need your support.
If they’re willing to get treatment, help them get the assistance they need. You may be able to save a life and retain a valuable employee.
A failed drug test can be a catalyst for change for some individuals. However, remember that not all users will accept treatment.
#8: Avoid Risky Hires
Careful screening can help you hire the right people for your small business. In many instances, drug users pose a safety risk to themselves and other employees. Depending on the job’s nature, such as those working with heavy machinery, lives may be on the line. To eliminate the risks involved with hiring a drug user, make drug tests an employment requirement for your company.
#9: Protection from Lawsuits
Allowing drug abuse to continue at your place of business not only puts your employees at risk but could also leave you legally liable if something were to occur.
If someone suffers an injury or death on the job, you could face a lawsuit due to negligence. Protect yourself and your business from devastating lawsuits by initiating a drug testing policy for both new hires and current employees.
#10: Boost Company Morale
A safe and healthy workplace is a productive workplace. When your employees have concerns for the health and stability of a colleague, it affects their morale.
Reduce any potential anxiety or discomfort and demonstrate to your employees you care and want a safe environment for all. Put your employees first by implementing routine drug testing.
Implementing Drug Testing For Your Business with Rapid Detect
The benefits of implementing drug testing procedures for your business are compelling. The costs of a testing program are well worth it for maintaining happy, productive employees.
Even if you don’t have any current issues with employee drug use, it’s good to stay ahead of future potential problems.
If you’d like to learn more about implementing drug testing for your small business, we’d love to help find a solution. Browse our drug testing products, or contact our team today for more information!