By Nardia Vescovi-Diss
Having gone through the suggestions in our previous blogs, having a clear policy, having those first difficult conversations, perhaps invoking your drug testing policy, you now know that your employee has a problem with drugs. So where to from here?
You understand that supporting and promoting employee health and wellbeing is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. But you still need to manage the business to the standards you expect and achieve the results you are looking for.
In previous blogs we’ve talked about the increasing incidence of drug-related issues and how to manage this in order to be compliant, but, what should you be doing to manage the psychological component? This isn’t just with respect to the employee with the problem, this could also include team members, or their manager, who are trying to deal with, and perhaps manage, behavioural issues. If your team are at risk of a psychological injury because a problem isn’t being managed properly, you may find yourself with a Workcover claim, so anything you can do to support them is in your best interests.
There are two parts to managing this problem:
Managing Performance – Remember, any action taken with respect to performance management, discipline or potentially termination, needs to be procedurally fair, making sure that appropriate processes are followed. ake sure that you have professional advice before taking steps that could have you in front of the Fair Work Commission.
Taking account of the employee’s circumstances while setting the standards you require, and offering help and support, is an important part of the process of ensuring any decisions you make in terms of terminating employment (if it comes to that) are also seen as fair and reasonable.
Managing the Drug Problem – Psychologically, the best thing is to ensure that your employee – in fact all of your employees – have access to professional support that is confidential and readily available, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
An EAP provides confidential access to qualified counsellors and psychologists, that is paid for by the organisation. There’s no need to gain approval to call, and employees can be confident that the organisation isn’t going to find out about their problems, as this remains confidential. A good EAP will also provide access for immediate family members, because if one member of the family is having a problem, everyone in the family is too.
While many may see this as an unnecessary cost burden, the smart employer understands the cost to productivity, and therefore the bottom line, when your team aren’t operating at their best. When absenteeism and sick leave are up, the team members left behind are constantly trying to keep up.
The perception of EAP’s is that they’re expensive and, if you are a small to medium business, that they are out of reach; but there are affordable options available.
If any of this is ringing any bells for you, or you’d just like to make sure that what you have in place is compliant and supports your team, get in touch with us and have a chat to one of our Employee Experts, about our EAP offering and how it can help your business
Don’t wait to be faced with drug problems in your workplace. Schedule a call with us Now to discuss this and all your HR needs.