Dealing with Alcoholism in the Workplace

Drug and alcohol abuse hurt employee health, workplace safety, and business efficiency. Alcohol is the most commonly-abused drug in the workplace, and alcoholism is a chronic disease that may manifest in many different ways, affecting employee performance and mood to varying degrees. Taking swift steps to address alcohol abuse is essential to maintain the high-quality working environment your employees deserve.

Looking for the Signs of Alcoholism
As a supervisor, there are several key signs that indicate an employee may have an alcohol problem that requires your attention. Frequent unexplained absences or sudden “illnesses” could be an indicator of drug or alcohol abuse, especially if employees avoid confrontation and attempts to confront them about absences. Performance issues such as sloppy work and missed deadlines, as well as frequent outbursts or conflicts at work, may also stem from ongoing alcoholism. Employees with severe alcoholism may arrive at work noticeably impaired or smelling of alcohol; personal hygiene may also suffer as the disease progresses.

Taking Steps to Handle Employee Alcoholism
Confrontation is the first step in managing alcoholism at work. In some cases, human resources representatives may be suitable for this role; other times, a supervisor may be a better choice. Any meetings regarding concerns about alcoholism should be held in strict privacy. Employers should be clear regarding their reasons for concern, as well as the company’s policies and the steps the employee can take to rectify the situation. Once treatment has been established, follow-up care and support can play an important role in long-term recovery and relapse prevention.

Oschmann Employee Screening Services is a national provider of alcohol and drug testing programs and solutions. We can help your Arizona business develop and implement drug and alcohol programs in the workplace to protect employee rights and safety. Please click through our website or call us today at (520) 745-1029 or (800) 224-8532 to find out more or to schedule drug testing services.

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