One of the early findings of the implementation of a drug-testing program was the decrease in absenteeism. The perfect example is of an employee who does not “call in sick” on Mondays. Employees using illicit drugs or abusing prescription drugs are less productive, tend to miss work more often, may steal from the company, and are prone to more accidents. Companies reporting low absenteeism rates (0-15%) increased by 5% after implementing the drug-testing program.
Having a policy for a drug-free workplace is beneficial as drug testing can play an important role. Training is necessary for Supervisors charged with enforcing drug-testing policies to identify signs and behavior that indicate employee intoxication and substance abuse.
The results strongly suggest that when absenteeism is greater than 15%, a significant portion of this absenteeism relates to drug use/abuse and that the implementation of a drug-testing program significantly affects absenteeism. Any organization can control the turnover of the workforce, which is a timely and costly component by hiring a worker with good qualities. When workers are drug-free and do not have drug abuse behaviors, it results in high turnover.
The industry has developed reliable instant drug-testing devices for testing urine. Therefore, in the study, we asked to know if companies were moving away from off-site laboratory-based testing and moving toward in-house instant testing. There are higher costs associated with employees going for drug tests off-site, traveling time, waiting for the results, and other associated costs. It is surprising, as the availability and interest in on-site instant drug testing devices (urine and saliva) have been steadily increasing.
The Human Resource professionals surveyed/perceived a positive impact on four areas in the workplace: productivity, attendance, workers compensation incidence rates, and employee turnover. Productivity is a difficult metric to gauge, but it links with attendance, accidents, and employee turnover. Higher levels of absenteeism or accidents can be the cause of overall lower productivity in the workplace. Because of this, the company spends on compensating for attendance, accidents, and employee turnover and not on producing products or services. In our study, nearly one-fifth (19%) of the Human Resource professionals reported a perceived increase in productivity after the implementation of the drug-testing program. We can relate it to a more stable workforce and employee energy directed to specific job performance. Put into financial terms, this could result in increased profits with the same employees, an important consideration, in the current economic slowdown.