Back to Blog

A Guide to Implementing a Workplace Drug-Testing Program

PSI Team | Industry Expertise

A drug-testing program can greatly improve your business’s productivity, success, and culture. However, it takes much more than simply saying you want a drug-free workplace to make it work. You need to ensure that your company’s drug-testing program is fair, efficient, and effective. These things take time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a safer, more successful team of employees in the end. Plus, when your staff is healthy and productive, you’re able to provide the best service and products possible for your customer base. Make a fair, effective policy for your business with this guide to implementing a workplace drug-testing program.

The Benefits of Workplace Drug Testing

Companies have many different reasons to establish a workplace drug-testing program. First and foremost, a drug-free policy is a great way to promote your employees’ safety and well-being. When your workers know that you’re committed to a drug-free work environment, they’re less likely to partake in illicit substances. Additionally, healthy, responsible workers go on to provide the best service possible for your clients. Whether your employees are operating heavy machinery in warehouses or speaking directly to your clients in the office, it’s important that they remain sober while on the job. A drug-free workplace helps reduce the number of mistakes or accidents that occur at work. This doesn’t just lead to more productive workdays and happier clients; it can also save you money in health-care or compensation costs if an accident does occur.

Determine Why You Need Drug Testing

All of these are excellent reasons to implement drug testing in your workplace, but it’s important to nail down exactly why it matters in your company. Are there certain laws or regulations in your industry that require a drug-free workplace? Do you need to comply with state laws? Perhaps the only reason you want a drug-testing program is to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers. Whatever your reasoning is, keep it in mind as you work to implement your drug-testing program. Having this specific and worthy goal will help you determine the best policies and course of action for your business.

Create Your Business’s Drug-Testing Policy

With your business’s specific needs in mind, you can start to create a firm drug-testing policy. If you haven’t already, establish a drug-free workplace policy. A clear and written policy will serve as the base for your entire drug-testing program. It lets both your staff and your clients know your intentions as a drug-free company and why that matters so much to you. Uphold this policy as you determine all the details of your drug-testing program. As you design and implement your program, be sure to address the following questions and details.

Who Does It Cover?

Consider every individual who works for your company and figure out how you want the program to affect each of them. Does every employee need to undergo a drug test before starting the job? Does every employee need periodic drug testing? Does this extend to interns or volunteers? Carefully go through every position in your business and decide how they fall into the program.

What Else Is Prohibited?

A drug-free work environment clearly means that your company prohibits the use of drugs. However, you need to decide what other drug-related incidents fall under your policy. Make sure your policy clearly states your stance on possessing, selling, and distributing various illicit substances. Consider details like the state laws that differ throughout your company. If you have a branch in a state that has legalized marijuana, how does your policy interact with those rules? By addressing these issues, you make sure you cover your bases when it comes to all drug-related incidents in your business.

What Are the Consequences?

You also need to decide what happens when an individual violates your drug-testing policy. Any consequences—including warnings, suspensions, and termination—should be clear and direct in your policy. You should also include a clear return-to-work agreement. What requirements must an employee meet to continue working after a positive drug test? Figure out the process your employees must go through after committing these violations.

How Will You Help Employees With Substance-Use Problems?

In addition to the consequences, your drug-testing policy should also specify what help you can offer an employee if they partake in illicit substances. It’s important to encourage your employees to seek help with any drug use or addiction they face. You can also take that a step further by providing various forms of assistance, such as putting employees in touch with a counseling program or assisting with rehabilitation or other treatments. You should also establish a reintegration process for employees who want to return to work after a drug issue. Including these details in your policy will help promote your employees’ safety and well-being even beyond the act of drug testing.

Consult With an Expert

Once you’ve drafted your drug-testing program and the policies surrounding it, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer. Having a legal expert review your program helps guarantee that you’re meeting all the requirements and regulations you need to. A lawyer can determine how effective your policy is and suggest ways to make it clearer or more compliant. This is also a good way to ensure that your program is fair for both you and your employees.

Work With Your Employees

A huge step in this guide to implementing a workplace drug-testing program is communicating with your employees throughout the process. While drafting your policy and making all of the above decisions, make sure you get feedback from your workers. Listen to their opinions and use them to create a policy that works for everyone. Transparency is key throughout the process. Once your team finalizes the program, make sure your staff receives the education and training they need to abide by it. Give everyone access to the written policy. You can also hold seminars or workshops to educate your staff on how the new drug-testing policy will affect your workplace going forward.

As with any major workplace shift, an effective drug-testing program takes some time and effort to succeed. PSI Background Screening can help take some of the pressure off your shoulders by providing the professional screening and information services you need to keep your business running smoothly and profitably. Let our expert, dependable service handle your tests and resulting information. We’ll keep your data confidential, secure, and organized so you can focus on taking care of your employees and clients. Together, we can create a drug-testing program that helps bring your business closer to success.

A Guide to Implementing a Workplace Drug-Testing Program