How Does Drug Testing Link to Employee Performance?

With the increasing number of states giving the go signal on marijuana legalization, drug use in the United States continues to be rampant. In fact, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. reports that about 70% of 14.8 million Americans who are under the influence of illegal drugs are employed. These numbers urge many employers to implement preventive measures, such as in the form of employee drug testing.

A drug-free workplace policy has been a common practice within many organizations, yet drug testing has continued to be a controversial topic for many businesses. While business owners need to know the presence of drug use within their organizations, many employees view drug tests as a violation of their right to privacy.

With these in mind, it’s best to consider how drug testing really affects employees and their performance at work.

Promotes Overall Safety

Drug use is widely known to have negative psychological effects. While it can give a temporary high, most drugs and illegal substances often impair one’s judgment and slow down the reflexes. Because of this, being under the influence of drugs in the workplace can result to grave consequences that will not only potentially damage properties but also compromise everyone’s safety—especially those who work in the construction and transport industries. With drug testing, these safety hazards can be reduced, ensuring that productivity at work is maintained and upheld.

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Keeps Performance in Check

Since drug and alcohol use is known to cause poor concentration and judgment, it can significantly affect productivity and employee performance at work. Without the right focus on the tasks at hand, employees under the influence of drugs can easily produce bad quality output or slack off on the workload altogether. Drug testing employees should deter the use of drugs in the workplace, allowing them to make sound judgments and to contribute fairly to the growth of the business.

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Improves Work Attendance

Absenteeism, extra sick leaves, and tardiness on the job are common symptoms of a drug-user employee. When more and more employees do not report to work, productivity and value of the work decline, increasing the company costs in the long run. To avoid this, a drug-testing program can be conducted to ensure employee visibility and productivity in the workplace.

Reduces Turnover Costs

Looking at the big picture, having drug users within your organization simply adds more unnecessary costs for your company. In fact, substance abusers roughly cost business owners about $13,000 every year. This affects the US economy by about $81 billion annually. Such costs are due to reduced productivity, additional healthcare costs, compensation claims, legal liabilities, and in some cases, even theft by the abusers. It turns out that employees who use drugs or alcohol are more likely to file for compensation claims and can even add up to your healthcare costs by 300%.

With the help of a clear drug-free workplace policy, employers can conduct a random hair drug test annually and identify any drug abusers in the organization. Doing so will not only maintain and improve employee performance but will also prevent the entire company from suffering any more consequences of an individual’s action.

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