The strength of your company drug and alcohol policy lies in its proper application. Effective enforcement requires training, and lack of proper training is just as harmful as inconsistency.
You can have the most well-written drug and alcohol policy guidelines, but if your managers and supervisors lack the proper training to effectively implement it, it’s just as bad as having no policy at all.
While your managers and supervisors may be experts in their field, they are not in illicit drugs. And yet, they carry the responsibility of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment
Researchers at the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) found that managers and supervisors have the power to not only prevent but also potentially exacerbate employee illicit drug use.
The Effectiveness of the Top-Down Approach
The NCETA study highlights a new approach, which focuses on enhancing workplace culture with a top-down approach.
If your employees could benefit from drug awareness training, then so could the enforcers — meaning your HR managers and supervisors. The NCETA study involved 100 managers and supervisors who underwent alcohol and other drug or AOD training sessions. The researchers found that managers and supervisors who underwent AOD workshops proactively altered their workplace environment. Furthermore, they knew the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction which helped them in identification. Moreover, they also boosted the healthy habits of employees and discouraged their unhealthy habits.
In the study, the managers and supervisors — who are in a position to make changes in the workplace — did so, effectively reducing workplace risks. Managerial teams who underwent training were given the knowledge and tools to maintain a healthy workplace environment. Moreover, researchers found that high-stress workplaces with management untrained in AOD workshops encourage illicit substance use in employees.
The Value of Continual Drug and Alcohol Training Workshops
The study highlights the importance of AOD training workshops for employees in managerial and supervisory roles. Continual training workshops allow your managers and supervisors to keep abreast of the latest updates in illicit drug use. The updates may include information on new drugs that enter the market or newly discovered risk factors. All in all, a training program for managers and supervisors provide them with a better point of view and puts them in a better position to identify factors that may lead to drug and alcohol abuse. One of the most common workplace stressors is bullying, which is a common precursor of illicit drug use.
It is clear that a specialised training program for managers and supervisors empower them in maintaining a drug-free environment. To be more effective, the supervisor training program should complement the employee drug awareness training program, according to NCETA director professor Ann Roche. The study does not aim to say that you get rid of the bottom-up approach altogether. It calls for an enhanced approach — a combination of the top-down and bottom-up training program to effectively tackle drug and alcohol abuse.
Supervisor training may include business owners and top management to HR staff and security officers. Ms. Roch recommends a wider implementation of the workshop training program particularly in industries with high rates of illicit drug use.
Lastly — without proper alcohol and other drugs training, how do you even maintain a drug-free workplace?
Drug Education and Awareness Programs in Australia
SafeWork Laboratories’ skilled and knowledgeable team provides drug education and awareness programs to businesses all over Australia. We offer the following:
- Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) workshops
- Fit for work assessment
- Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Committee Consultation
- ASQA Certified Tester Training
We tailor our programs to meet the unique needs of your business. If you have any questions about our programs and how they can help your business, you can reach us at 1300 795 227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to provide you free advice on how to implement and manage your AOD policy.