The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Research shows that alcohol and drug misuse are a contributory factor in 26% of the workplace accidents that costs the UK economy over £4 billion per annum.
This has got me wondering why companies are not taking this problem more seriously. In my professional capacity as an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor and Corporate Consultant I have consulted with many companies who have in all fairness to them provided Alcohol and Drug Policies to their employees. This however, as I have explained to them, is just getting their employees to sign a document, it is not enough to protect themselves against possible liability and also staff require training to understand the full effects of alcohol and drug misuse prevention to fully understand the document they are signing in the first place.
I find it hard to understand why management so readily accept their staff coming into work hung-over from the effects of Alcohol and Drugs and readily put up with lost productivity and poor decision making.
With so many new ‘designer’ drugs and legal highs coming into the market place, both employees and employers can no longer be in a position to think this situation is manageable, it can only get worse. It is only a matter of time before a bad decision is made that will cost your company a lot of money, or someone will fall down the stairs while still under the influence, or any other possibilities which could be avoided from awareness of alcohol and drug misuse.
It is vital for all organisations, whatever the size to start to properly address the situation with their workforce. I don’t even want to go into the endless problems of Company Christmas parties as I think that is best left to nearer the festive season; however across the year approximately four out of 10 employees say that alcohol and drug misuse is a significant cause of worker absenteeism.
So do you need to ask yourself, what effect is Alcohol and Drug misuse having on your Company?
The workplace is one of the leading sources of stress and anxiety. Many of the symptoms are frightening, however, understanding that they are not life threatening can help. When anxiety becomes so intense that it interferes with daily life, then it becomes a problem. The first step in combating anxiety is accepting that there is a problem.
Excessive use of alcohol is often closely related to anxiety problems. Frequently people drink because they are anxious, but the knock on effect is that alcohol increases the anxiety, resulting in a downward spiral.
Counselling helps people identify issues, difficulties and problems and encourages them to respond and make progress towards resolution. Counselling in the workplace can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, improve mental health, lower levels of sickness and increase job satisfaction and commitment.
Fresh Knowledge offers a consultation service, providing an effective method of understanding the pressure caused by occupational stress and offering a supportive remedy. Such consultations can help increase staff morale, boost confidence and self-esteem, improve productivity and efficiency and create a more relaxed working environment.
- Britain is top of a European table for cocaine abuse amongst young people, ahead of the US, Canada and AustraliaThree quarters of new addicts are under the age of 21 years
Research shows that when compared with non–substance abusers, substance-abusing employees are more likely to change jobs frequently, be late or absent from work, be less productive, be involved in a workplace accident and file a workers’ compensation claim.
More than half a million people turn up to the office in the UK with a hangover each day, and 1 in 10 come into the office suffering from the effect of too much alcohol at least twice a week. A staggering 46 per cent of UK companies have experienced problems of alcohol misuse amongst employees in the workplace.
Alcohol can cause poor mental and physical health, family and personal problems, financial implications, anxiety, stress and low self esteem, and can increase work related accidents for both the drinker and their colleagues. Even if it is not an obvious problem, alcohol abuse may be affecting the efficiency of your company, as well as costing time and money.
Alcohol in the workplace can have many implications for an employer, ranging from higher insurance and the risk of accidents, to performance and productivity loss and increased recruitment costs.