When administering drug and alcohol testing into the workplace, there are many common – and often avoidable – mistakes your business should avoid. Save time and frustration when you work with a partner to navigate these procedures. During our 40 years of experience as a trusted resource for drug and alcohol testing, these are the most common minefields our team has seen.
Choose the Right Tests
Because all businesses have their own unique needs, picking the right tests to administer is crucial for success. Below are some tests to consider with an advisor whether they apply to your company’s situation and goals:
- Pre-Employment – after offering a candidate a position, many companies administer a drug and alcohol screening as the final step. It is best to be clear this is a part of the hiring process early so people are aware this is a requirement for employment.
- Post Accident – if there is a serious workplace accident, consider a test to make sure no drugs or alcohol were involved.
- For Cause – if there is a reasonable suspicion an employee is under the influence while at work, a company may wish to document the activity and work with a partner to find out if any substance abuse is at play
- Return-to-duty – if an employee has been suspended from work due to a positive drug test or refusal to test, we recommend the employer run a re-test to make sure the employee is okay to work again
- Follow-up – similar to the return-to-duty test, the employer may opt to have random follow-up drug and alcohol test for employees who did not pass one or more test to ensure the ongoing safety of their team and operations.
- Random – when conducting a company or departmental wide random drug testing protocol, it is best to have third-party help. To ensure there is no bias, partners use randomizing software to select a pool of candidates for testing.
Depending on your company’s needs and immediate goals with drug and alcohol testing, Barada Associates can help tailor a plan to meet your needs and budget.
Get Alignment Throughout the Organization
Once a plan is selected, share it with managers with direct reports as well as affected employees. The two biggest areas we have seen alignment issues is with inadequate manager training and lack of expectation setting.
All Managers Onboard
Whenever rolling out a new drug and alcohol testing policy, there are going to be many questions from employees. Managers must be equipped, especially in large organizations. They need a communication plan to cover the initial “why” behind the need for testing and answers to FAQs. The goal is honesty, transparency, and consistency with the delivery. All employees must receive the same message.
Empower managers to talk about this as a positive step for employees. By dedicating time and money to a drug and alcohol testing program, you show you care about your employees’ safety and well being.
The final and probably most important thing we can share is there may be questions they can’t answer. Instead of making up something potentially inaccurate, make sure managers document questions send them to your testing partner. We’ve likely received a similar question in the past and can help your team provide the right response.
Expectations & Consistency
Step one of setting expectations is proper preparation. Make sure your managers are ready to roll out the drug and alcohol testing communication plan. Next, the business must consider the hiring process and whenever an employee fails a test.
Operating as the gateway into the business, the hiring process sets the tone for prospective employees. Letting candidates know a drug test is a requirement early signals the importance of a safe environment. It may also deter some people from continuing because they believe won’t pass a screening.
Whenever an employee shows up positive for drugs or alcohol, managers and HR must know the disciplinary actions needed. Though companies may differ on how to react to such news, one thing we cannot stress enough is consistency. Be clear with the consequences up front and administer them the same way regardless of who failed a test.
Be Confident in Your Drug and Alcohol Testing Plan
At Barada Associates, we make sure you are informed of your options and empowered to bring them to the workplace. Let our team of experts help plan and execute a drug and alcohol testing program to keep your business safe and secure. Schedule a consultation today to get started.