Workplace drug tests target synthetic cannabinoids

on-site drug testing, drug free workplace, workplace drug testThe death last year of a Western Australian man just hours after smoking synthetic cannabis highlighted the danger of this designer drug. Its appearance on work sites – in an attempt to evade on-site drug testing – prompted tighter regulations.

Synthetic cannabis drug Kronic may have crept onto the market under the radar about five years ago but it didn’t take long for authorities to be concerned.

Its appearance at mine sites prompted regulators to ban substances found in the drug, which imitates the effects of cannabis but in early days was undetectable in workplace drug testing.

The WA Government extended its list of banned synthetic cannabinoids following a man’s death just hours after smoking synthetic cannabis last year.

WA became the first state in Australia to ban the sale of products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which have been marketed under names such as Kronic, Spice, K2, Kalma, Voodoo, Kaos and Mango Kush.

Other states have also made the sale and use of synthetic cannabis illegal.

Synthetic cannabis was sold legally for about four years in retail outlets such as adult stores and tobacconists. Despite being marketed as ‘fragrance oil’ or ‘incense’, users were smoking the drugsto get a legal high. For many the intent was to avoid on-site drug testing detection in industries such as mining or construction.

According to leading Australian drug test supplier CMM Technology, drug test equipment has caught up with the problem of synthetic cannabis. CMM’s Synthetic Cannabis Saliva Test Kit has been designed to detect drugs previously undetectable by conventional tests.

CMM Technology’s comprehensive drug testing kits accurately detect synthetic cannabinoids from both saliva and urine samples.

The ban of key products contained in Kronic in Western Australia led to the development of ‘new formulas’ such as Kronic Black Label. Authorities were quick to move to extend the ban, following the lead of the United Kingdom and Europe.

The Australian Drug Foundation has recently launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’.

It claims they can lead to paranoia, irritability, restlessness and racing thoughts and in more extreme cases can produce chest pains, vomiting, seizures and drowsiness.

The Western Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association says despite claims by Kronic’s manufacturers, the drug had serious side-effects and was linked to hospital emergency department admissions.

Synthetic cannabinoids were developed for research and medical purposes in the United States during the 1980s.

A death linked to so-called ‘legal weed’ highlighted the danger of this drug, which can now be detected by sophisticated drug test equipment. For more information on how to provide a drug free workplace contact CMM Technology on 1300 79 70 30 or email info@cmm.com.au.

Sources:

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/more-substances-banned-following-first-kronic-death-20110805-1ie5m.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-23/kronic-ban-risks-black-market-boom/2769498

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/western-australia-to-ban-fake-marijuana-kronic/story-e6frfku0-1226074353201#ixzz1nkYNp3UW

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Time Management for Employees in Recovery

Drug test Kits, Saliva Drug TestMost persons in recovery can remember the cyclical nature of addiction and how most of their time was spent thinking about the drug, planning how to buy the drug, actively taking the drug, recuperating from the high and hiding all this activity from family, friends, and employers. In many cases, drug-related behavior superseded such other necessary activities such as eating and sleeping. Of course by foregoing sleep the person was unable to get up in time for work or, if they did make it to their desk, likely did not have a very productive day.

While in recovery, the person was presented with suggestions for health activities that could substitute for drug-related behavior. However, gaps in time represent a significant trigger for slips and/or full relapse. Long-term recovery will be dependent on learning how to effectively manage time in a healthy and productive manner.

Fortunately, time management skills can be learned. The following are some suggestions for to help employers work with persons in recovery to enhance their time management skills:

  • Organization is critical to effective time management. Provide your employee with a daily planner or calendar to record important tasks (“to-do” list) and when each is to be performed. This will help them budget their time and prioritse tasks. Ensure that tasks are well ordered and follow one another in quick succession so that there is not too much of a time gap.
  • Based on stated priorities, help the employee create small, achievable goals and have them record the date to achieve them in their planner or calendar. Goals will help the employee remain focused on the future rather than wallowing in the past. Set goals that will lead to early success since s/he will then be motivated to stick with the plan.
  • Keep up the momentum. Once the employee has reached certain goals, create new ones that set the bar a bit higher.

Beware Landmines

Procrastination is probably the biggest landmine to avoid when helping employees build successful time management skills. Some of the root causes of procrastination include:

  • Unpleasant tasks. Train employees that when they are faced with unpleasant tasks, it is best to accomplish them first so they can get them out of the way and move on to more pleasant duties.
  • Overwhelming responsibilities. As noted, try not to stack too many duties onto the desk of employees in recovery since they may well buckle under the weight. . Try to limit their “to-do” list to between 3 and 5 items so that the employee does not become overwhelmed since stress is a precursor to relapse.  The best strategy is to break the task down into smaller manageable parts and check off each task as it is completed for a sense of accomplishment.
  • Ambiguous goals. Ensure that the goals you set for employees are clearly defined. Most persons in recovery need structure. Vague or ambiguous goals only serve to confuse and can stymy productivity. For example, rather than, Employee will make 10 calls today for the new membership program, the goal can be stated: Employee will make 10 sales calls today on behalf of our new membership program trying to sign on at least 2 people.
  • Overcommitting your time. This may derive from the employee’s desire to please co-workers and become accepted.  However, cramming their schedule with too many tasks will lead to burn and stress. Help the employee learn to respect their boundaries and commit only the time they can after their workload is complete. Train the employee in how to say “no” while maintaining the respect of colleagues. 
  • Fear of failure. This can be a significant issue for those in recovery who may little success behind them. Fear of failure arises from lack of self-confidence. The best strategy is to set small, attainable goals as this builds self-confidence. You can then slowly introduce more challenging tasks.

Fear is often the root cause of procrastination and is typically based on false assumptions. Effective time management skills will provide the person in recovery with a highly effective tool for building self-confidence and making lasting and positive changes in all areas of their lives.

Aside from training, effective drug prevention program in the workplace also involves periodic testing of employees to ensure a substance fee environment. CMM technology offers some of the best drug and alcohol testing equipment on the market today such as Lion breathalyser tests and Oraline drug tests. We have experts available 24/7 to answer your questions and order testing equipment. We invite you to contact us today at (+61) 1300 79 70 30 to learn more about keeping a drug-free workplace and helping those with an alcohol problem obtain needed assistance.

References

Baer, J.S., Kivlahan, D.R. Integrating Skills Training and Motivational Therapies: Implications for the Treatment of Substance Dependence. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 1999 – Elsevier

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Money Management in Recovery

Recalibration Service, BreathalyserMoney management is an issue for many people but for those with substance abuse histories budgeting can present a significant challenge. For many recovering addicts, having money can be a trigger to relapse. While relapse prevention strategies are reviewed in all recovery programs, it can be hard to follow these strategies when presented with cold hard currency. Many recovering addicts use whatever money they are able to obtain to purchase drugs or alcohol rather than buy food or pay bills.

Counsellors within Employment Assistant Programs (EAPs) help employee effectively handle personal problems that my impact work performance, recovery, and overall well-being. For those employees who are having difficulty with money management, there are three methods by which persons in recovery can get a handle on their finance and reclaim fiscal responsibility.

  1. Develop a spending plan
  2. Provide referrals for additional help
  3. Create a savings plan

Develop a Spending Plan

Many persons in recovery are impulsive spenders so that they run out money for needed expenses before their next paycheck is due. Spending plans enable these them to prepare for expenses in advance and set aside the necessary funds.

The first step is to work with the employee to determine how exactly how much income will be earned with each pay check. This is easy when a regular schedule is involved but can be somewhat trickier when pay varies from week-to-week or for those who are self-employed. However, it is still possible to average out income over a monthly period.The next step is to help the employee write out monthly expenses, including rent, food, utility costs, transportation, and personal needs. Some funds will likely be set aside for discretionary spending (e.g. entertainment).

The final step is to create a spending plan that will serve as a guideline for expenditures and update it as needed. When all income and expenses are recoded in a spending journal, the employee will be able to determine how even a small impulse purchase affects their overall plan. It is important that the employee meets regularly with the EAP counsellor to review the plan and make suggestions for improvement. It is all too easy to revert back to old spending habits without consistent oversight.

Getting Help

For those employees that continue to have difficulties managing money despite the creation of a spending plan, EAP counsellors may refer the employee to a financial empowerment center for additional guidance and budgeting classes. Many nonprofit agencies have such centers as do substance abuse treatment facilities.

Create a Savings Plan

This would be the final step once money management is well in hand.  Here the concept of intrinsic reward will become important as many persons in recovery would rather spend today than save for tomorrow. They assume that it is going to take a very long time to accumulate savings of any magnitude which flies in the face of impulsiveness, a key personality trait of most substance abusers. Intrinsic reward is what the person will feel when s/he witnesses their ever-growing saving account and realize that they have a nest egg upon which to build.  The key to success with this person is to start small. Saving a little at a time makes the process seem less frustrating but over time will yield impressive results. One suggestion is to advise the employee to direct deposit a certain amount of their paycheck each time they are paid. This idea is based on the premise that what we never see we never miss. Direct deposit is especially beneficial if money has been a trigger for relapse.

It is important for supervisors to work closely with EAP counselors so that each can keep track of behavior. If supervisors finds than an employee are short of cash well before of payday and is asking colleagues for loans, this could be a warning of relapse and needs to be addressed immediately.  Aside from referral to the EAP counsellor the company should also initiate drug testing. Testing serves as its own warning bell notifying employees that the company is monitoring substance abuse in the workplace.  CMM technology offers some of the best drug and alcohol testing equipment on the market today such as Lion breathalyser tests and Oraline drug tests. We have experts available 24/7 to answer your questions and order testing equipment. We invite you to contact us today at (+61) 1300 79 70 30 to learn more about keeping a drug-free workplace and helping those with an alcohol problem obtain needed assistance.

Reference

Elbogen EBTiegreen JVaughan CBradford DW. Money management, mental health, and psychiatric disability: a recovery-oriented model for improving financial skills. Forensic Psychiatry Program, Department of Psychiatry, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. eric.elbogen@unc.edu http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21208861

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Coping Mechanisms for Recovery

Breathalyser, Drug test Kits, Drug TestLearning effective coping mechanisms when faced with triggers is a critical element of successful recovery. Coping mechanism are personal action plans that persons in recovery employ when faced with “people, places, and things” that could lead to either a slip or relapse.  Coping strategies involve the identification of those situations that serve as triggers, why those events serves as a motivator for drug use, and what actions the recovering person can take to avoid relapse.

Relapse is not a single event but a process that begins with the decision to use drugs or alcohol. As such, relapse begins with a thought. Thoughts give rise to emotions which are the precursor to action.  An effective coping strategy can be as simple as identifying that first thought, understanding why it arises, and making a conscious decision to ignore it. Far from being out of one’s control, people always have a choice when faced with trigger situations; i.e. “to use or not to use”.

Coping mechanisms can also involve physical behavior. Persons in recovery are advised to stay away from those “people, places, and things” that are connected to their prior addiction. Triggers can be small things, such as the time of day, music or scents. Triggers may also be found in the workplace in the form stress from too much work, constructive criticism of work product or even perceived insult by colleagues or supervisors. These types of situations make it very tempting for that person to use again so that their recovery becomes severely comprised.  An effective coping strategy would be to seek the support of supervisors to discuss their work-related stressors.  When managing a person in recovery it is important to regularly “check-in” to see how the person is doing. These periodic reviews will catch problematic warning signs of relapse (e.g. frequent absences or lateness, irritability, etc.)

Some experts within the addictions field believe that relapse occurs in three stages: emotional, cognitive, and physical.  Coping strategies can be particularly effective in forestalling relapse during stages one and two. Behaviors associated with the first stage, emotional relapse, include frustration, guild, anger, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, as well as unhealthy sleeping patterns. Emotional relapse is often thought to be the first stage of relapse and it is the stage where coping mechanisms can be most effective. A good strategy to avoid relapse at this stage is to help the employee connect with healthy peers EAP counselors, family and friends who can offer healthy alternatives, provide support, and build a repertoire of coping mechanism. These people can also help build the person’s self-esteem by validating their worth. Self-esteem is an essential component of relapse prevention since it is only with self-love that the person in recovery can make healthy life choices.

Cognitive relapse, the second state of relapse, refers to the thoughts that a person harbors with regard to relapse. In this stage the person has not started using again but is engaging in what is commonly referred to as “stinking thinking”.  It typically starts as a passing thought but, over time, becomes obsessive. Behaviors associated with cognitive relapse include lying, visualization of drug use, nostalgia for the “old times”, and absences from work to spend time with friends who are continuing to use. Perhaps most significant behavior during this stage is the rationalization that the person begins to use for relapse witch such self-talk as:” I have this under control”. “What harm could just one drink, hit, etc. do”? “I can stop anytime I want to”.

Coping strategies for cognitive relapse are similar those for emotional relapse. It is important for the person to reach out to family, EAP counselors, and non-using friends for encouragement and support. When thoughts associated with relapse become obsessive it is important to take actions that provide a healthy alternative such as exercise or participating in other enjoyable activities.  The dual benefits of connecting with others are that they can make clear the consequences of relapse (e.g. job loss) and connection counters the isolative tendency of those in recovery.

To help employees who may be evidencing warning signs of relapse it is helpful to institute periodic drug testing to serve as both a preventative measure and to ensure that the employee gets the help s/he needs in a timely manner. CMM technology offers some of the best drug and alcohol testing equipment on the market today such as Lion breathalyser tests and Oraline drug tests. We have experts available 24/7 to answer your questions and order testing equipment. We invite you to contact us today at (+61) 1300 79 70 30 to learn more about keeping a drug-free workplace and helping those with an alcohol problem obtain needed assistance.

References

McCormick, R.A. Aggression and hostility in substance abusers: The relationship to abuse patterns, coping style, and relapse triggers. AddictiveBehaviours, 1995 – Elsevier

Rohsenow, D.J., Monti, Peter, m et.al. Motivational enhancement and coping skills training for cocaine abusers: effects on substance use outcomes. Addiction. Volume 99, Issue 7, pages 862–874, July 2004

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Mining contractor HWE cleared to continue urine drug screening

Breathalyser, Drug test KitsEmployee drug testing is mandatory at mining sites but debate continues over oral and urine drug tests. Legal parameters are being defined as employers and unions seek arbitration over screening tests. A recent ruling has backed a mining contractor over its use of urine tests.

A recent decision by Fair Work Australia has found mining contractor HWE is entitled to take urine samples for drug and alcohol testing despite union opposition.

The ruling was handed down on November 30, 2011, after protests by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union that HWE should use saliva drug tests for its onsite drug testing.

Unions have traditionally favoured oral tests, claiming the method is less intrusive and better protects workers’ privacy. In the case before Fair Work the CFMEU argued that the psychoactive compound in cannabis – THC – showed up on urine drug tests even days after use, when it was not likely to cause impairment. It argued that HWE had agreed to use saliva drug tests upon an Australian Standard being reached.

Fair Work found that while this standard (AS4760) had been put in place (since 2006) there was still “compelling rational reasons for regarding saliva testing as less effective than urine testing”.

“In a practical sense the dispute is ultimately about an intrusion into employees’ privacy and whether employees who consume cannabis privately while on an extended break from work should be exposed to a risk of a positive urine screening test when there is no prospect that they remain impaired when they return to work,” Fair Work said in its ruling.

It found HWE was “eminently reasonable” in its decision not to change to oral drug testing.

“Impairment by drugs or alcohol is an important safety issue at coal mines,” Fair Work said.

“The nature of the mining process and the plant and equipment used in mining is such that employees who are impaired by drugs or alcohol present a substantial safety risk to themselves and others that must be controlled.

“There are very onerous statutory occupational health and safety obligations imposed on employers in New South Wales… The use of on-site screening rather than laboratory screening is well justified by HWE’s concern that the delay between the taking of a sample and obtaining the results of a laboratory test may lead to employees who are actually impaired working on dangerous equipment when that would not occur if an effective on-site screening test had been used.”

Leading Australian alcohol and drug testing equipment suppliers CMM Technology said rulings such as the Fair Work decision demonstrated the challenges facing employers, particularly in high-risk sectors such as mining.

Director Murray Simon said the choice between oral and urine drug tests was difficult as both had advantages and limitations.

He said the cost of drug and alcohol testing as well as company requirements and policies were considerations. “Every workplace will have different needs but safety always has to be the priority,” he said.

For more information on workplace drug test equipment contact CMM (Clinical Medical Marketing) on 1300 797030 or email info@cmm.com.au.

Sources:

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/fair-work-allows-hwe-to-continue-urine-testing

http://www.fwa.gov.au/FWAISYS/isysquery/1ba170c9-a896-4dd2-84c4-57a8b6075ab6/1/doc/

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Urine vs saliva drug testing for employers to decide: Fair Work

Drug Testing, Alcohol TestA ruling by Fair Work Australia on the merits of urine drug tests over saliva drug tests could have implications for workplace drug testing. Leading drug test equipment supplier CMM Technology takes a closer look at the findings in the dispute (C2009/124) between the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and mining contractor HWE.

A mining contractor was entitled to change its company policy to retain urine drug testing despite an earlier commitment to move to saliva testing methods.

That was the opinion of Fair Work Australia when deciding a dispute between HWE Mining and the CFMEU. It found that the company could not be held to a 2003 drug testing policy, which stated:

“Saliva testing will be used as the drug testing procedure, if Australian Standard certification is received for this process. This procedure will be amended accordingly.”

Anational standard for saliva drug tests(AS4760) was published on November 1, 2006, at which time the CFMEU pressed HWE to uphold its commitment to reform the policy.

“A significant issue of concern for the CFMEU centres on the correlation between a positive test result and actual impairment for the different types of screening test,” Fair Work said.

Cannabis impairment

The union’s concern focussed on the capacity for urine drug tests to detect cannabis days after use. In contrast, saliva drug tests only detected traces of cannabis within hours of use.

“It is useful to explain this issue by reference to THC, the acronym of the psychoactive compound in cannabis,” Fair Work said. “Actual impairment from THC lasts for a period after consumption that is measured in hours rather than days. On-site urine screening tests for a metabolite of THC that is present for days, even many days, after the consumption of cannabis… long after impairment has ceased.”

A question of company policy

Despite the union concerns, Fair Work upheld HWE’s right to decide, and indeed change, its drug and alcohol testing policy.

HWE had argued that despite the publication of an Australian Standard for saliva drug tests, the testing method had “unacceptable inadequacies” compared to urine testing. This included:

  • A high rate of false negatives;
  • The Australian Standard for saliva drug testing excluding benzodiazapenes; and
  • Target levels for drugs including cannabis (marijuana) being too high.

Fair Work said the testimony of expert witnesses included differences of opinions but concurred that false negatives (where drugs are present but not detected) were higher with saliva drug tests.

It found that there were substances which could be used to reduce the effectiveness of saliva drug tests in workplace drug testing but that drugs were more difficult to mask in properly-conducted urine tests.

CMM Technology is a leading alcohol and drug testing equipment supplier in Australia. For more information about the advantages and limitations of different drug and alcohol testing procedures contact 1300 797030 or email info@cmm.com.au.

Sources:

http://www.fwa.gov.au/FWAISYS/isysquery/3552e12d-d300-48b3-a9bc-619d50c82167/2/doc/

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/making-a-choice-on-site

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Procrastination and Personal Satisfaction

Drug Test, Drug Testing, Alcohol TestProcrastination certainly has a bad reputation, especially in the workplace. If you put off something which you are supposed to be doing next or right away or today, then you may be labeled as lazy, scared, fearful of success, afraid of failure, unable to handle reality, and so on. Understandably, nobody really wishes to be labeled as a procrastinator by others. However, this trait does not affect how others see you nearly as much as it affects your own life. Procrastination does indeed indicate that you are unable to handle the current problem or task yourself, but more than that, it preys upon personal satisfaction. It preys upon one’s self satisfaction.

Personal satisfaction in the workplace can rarely be obtained through external gratification. While you may be pleased with yourself when you help someone with their workload or satisfy requirements set down by the boss, it is temporary and may not give you satisfaction in the future when remembering the good deed. Instead, personal achievement of one’s individually set goals brings the greatest amount of satisfaction and these goals tend to come first on our list of priorities, above those of the boss or anyone else. Procrastination is most likely to occur when someone thwarts their individual goals for the goals of others, and rearranges the priorities in someone else’s favor.

Does that mean that it is okay to be selfish? In a sense, yes, but this must be explained further. Often, when someone puts their own needs ahead of others, they are deemed selfish, but this may not be the case. They may not be making the needs of others unimportant, but simply arranging which needs are satisfied first and which are satisfied second. It may not mean that they are ignoring everyone else altogether.

Workplace drug testing helps you to set limits on employee behavior and define exactly when and where they are allowed to be affected by alcohol or drug abuse, i.e. not in your company. Perhaps the causes for procrastination are behind this, and perhaps not. Either way, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your employees to keep everyone as safe as possible. Contact CMM Technology today for further information on drug and alcohol testing equipment in Western Australia: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

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Pregnant Employees

Breathalyser Recalibration ServiceMothers-to-be on your staff are always wonderful additions to your workplace. New hope, new growth, and the ever present excitement in the air are great to be around and enjoy, even if it is not you. Many companies offer benefits, time off, or various types of health coverage for new mums and this is to ensure the health of the mother, as well as that of the child. Speaking strictly in business terms, if both mother and child are happy and healthy, then less time is taken off of work and the more productive the working mother is. Fortunately, most women have a vested interested in making sure that their offspring and their own bodies are in good working condition at all times. In fact, studies of teen pregnancies indicate that teen mothers often quit their drinking or drug addiction when they find out that they are pregnant. Obviously, the maternal instinct is quite strong.

Unfortunately, employee drug testing has found that not all mothers-to-be care quite this much or possess this all-encompassing mother instinct. Even the most innocent of smiles can hide an apathetic view of the situation. This does not necessarily mean that these women (or girls) are monsters. Depending upon their home life, their high school life, or their circle of friends, having a baby may seem like more of a hobby or something to do to pass the time rather than the great responsibility that it is. Even after parenthood, some women simply do not feel the bond with their child that others do, and may seem to care less. Workplace drug and alcohol testing can prove whether this is just a lack of connection or if the mother has returned to a previous abusive habit.

Abuse comes in many forms and sometimes it comes in the form of neglect. Living creatures need nutrition, but they also need nurturing and to be trained up in the way that they should grow. This applies to all life forms. Employee drug testing is in the best interest of the company, but it also protects individual employees. Call CMM Technology today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

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Positive Relationships and Substance Abuse

Recalibration Service, BreathalyserPositive relationships contribute to our lives in many different ways. They can inspire us to do better, motivate us to grow and become more mature and skilled in our talents, and they can give us a strong feeling of warmth and community, which can act as a foundation for us. Drug and alcohol testing is one of the most convenient aspects of a business, at least as far as the employee is concerned. Whether or not they complain about having to do it, workplace drug testing fulfills a necessary role in backing up what small amount of self control and determination some of us have. Drug testing helps you to just go about work without having to make a conscious choice to avoid abusive behavior. In conservative society, the threat of being caught is enough to make most individuals never wish to risk it. In this way, drug and alcohol screening almost does the work, or at least the self control part of it, for you.

In less conservative societies, operating against the rule is the popular and almost the expected thing to do. This is often the case in high hazard industries, where cunning, intelligence and survival are all necessary in order to handle and deal with the daily strain of the hazardous industry. In less conservative societies, individuals benefit the most from these above mentioned positive relationships. Since personal interaction is what carries the most clout, you may not be able to expect obedience simply because you have clearly defined the rules. A relationship of honesty, trust and respect must be developed and cultured over time. Drug and alcohol testing is the supporting beam, and your excellent leadership is the house built around it.

In both scenarios, employee drug testing is used with beneficial effect. While enforcing the rules is necessary for every business operation, these positive relationships are beneficial in reducing stress and in fulfilling necessary work tasks without getting personal. Call CMM Technology today to find out more about how drug and alcohol testing equipment can both support rules and foster positive interaction in the workplace: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

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Office Gossip and Office Productivity

Drug test Kits, Drug Test, Drug TestingOffice gossip has a bad reputation for causing dissention and drama in a professional workplace. Many people put it down and refuse to engage in office politics, but even more people gleefully engage in it. So which is the correct answer? Are office politics that bad, or do they serve some sadistic but useful purpose in the workplace?

This is a good question. Let us look at both sides of the issue.

On one hand, workplace gossip is destructive. When someone has something embarrassing or inappropriate happen to them, rumors can make them out to appear quite ridiculous or weak. When there is constant negative drama, this can create a workplace environment which employees dread going to in the morning. In addition to that, negative drama can become too intense and too long-winded and spill over into client accounts or be overheard by patients. It can disturb the peace of the jobsite, which is difficult enough to maintain under typical conditions, especially in workplaces where a large number of people interact on a daily basis. It can be almost impossible to avoid drama.

On the other hand, workplace drama can serve a useful purpose. For example, everyone needs a little drama in their lives, but positive drama is rarely utilized. Office gossip serves to facilitate communication between employees who do not know each other very well. It informs coworkers of significant events in each other’s lives. It provides a support network. In truth, it is a bit like running a small country. There will always be at least two parties on every issue discussed, and there will always be pros and cons bandied back and forth between your employees. Office gossip facilitates ideas being thrown around a room, perfected, dismissed, and implemented. This, in turn, leads to innovation. Not to mention the fact that it can facilitate communication between employees.

Unfortunately, office drama can work its way inward when someone has a reputation or a former reputation for alcohol or drug abuse. In that circumstance, it is always good to have some scientific documentation to back up or thwart the latest rumors. Employee drug and alcohol testing is a part of that movement. Call CMM Technology today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/office-gossip_n_1295123.html?ref=small-business&ir=Small%20Business

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New Ideas, New Growth

Drug Testing, Alcohol TestNew ideas spring from a well of knowledge and growth and reinvention. Susan Cain, in a talk to a TED Conference audience, describes how even fundamental character traits between people define how their ideas are formed and how these ideas are available to be utilized. Her particular discussion was on how introverts are seen by the business community and society in general. Introverts are labeled as “shy” when the two terms are not even remotely synonymous, and extroverts are considered normal average people because they have highly developed charisma, charm and social skills.

Cain discusses how introverts make great leaders because they tend to allow people with ideas to go ahead and run with them, while highly excited extroverted leaders may actually get in the way of individuals realizing the full potential of their creativity. So, what is introversion and extroversion? Introverts are people who simply prefer solitude to social interaction. They are not necessarily shy (which means fear of social aberration) and may enjoy the company of others very much, but they prefer solitude. Extroverts, of course, prefer interaction with others and often find themselves feeding off of social energy and finding inspiration within a group setting.

In the world of drug addiction and alcoholism, extroverts are more likely to be swayed by their friends, either toward drugs or toward a healthy balanced lifestyle, while introverts are more likely to choose an addicted lifestyle all on their own, even disregarding the attempts to help them from their social community. Introverts are also likely to remain strong and balanced, even while living in a community of alcoholics. Interestingly enough, neither personality strength is likely to get ahead of the other to any measurable degree. Choices of friends or choices of personal recreational activities are inherently based upon character found within a person, not upon their degree of social interaction or solitude. Sadly, you must drug test all of your employees, not just the ones who seem “suspicious.” All joking aside, it may be a good idea to begin utilizing the ideas and creativity of your introverted employees more than you have been. And as for the employee drug testing, you have CMM Technology for that. Call us today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

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Negative Leadership Qualities

Drug Testing, Alcohol TestLeadership makes one think of a strong, friendly face and a confident smile and workable people skills. However, many people have negative leadership qualities which mask as positive traits. Here are a few examples:

Assertiveness, turned overbearing. When you are great at getting what you want, this can become a habit and you may find yourself using those abilities all the time, not just during negotiation or a hard business deal.

Generous, turned careless. If you enjoy helping others, this is a wonderful trait to have. Generosity shows that you are big hearted and that you love giving to enrich the lives of others. However, giving when you have nothing to back it up with can result in overdrawing bank accounts, friendships, and promises.

Compassionate, turned weak. There is a time and a place for compassion, as with all things, and an undiscerning mind will be unable to delineate just exactly where that time or that place really is. Compassion is necessary in order to lead people, but giving to everyone without discretion is just weak.

Protecting, turned controlling. When you stand up for your people and you causes, it will really give you a rush and you may think that this is the cure-all behavior for everything in your life. However, what had been physical and emotional support and protection can turn into controlling behavior where you believe that you know what is best for someone else and are not willing to give them a choice in the matter.

Gracious, turned fake. Certain personalities lend themselves to being warm and inviting. In times of stress, however, these gracious hearts tend to turn fake, or at the very least seemingly fake. Knowing the balance between public relations and personal conversations is a must in this circumstance.

Valuing regulations, not people. When you are the leader of a company, you must always understand and apply the company policies wherever necessary, such as when you implement your employee drug testing program. However, it is unwise to become so caught up in this dance, that you forget about the assets those policies are meant to protect: the people.

When you maintain your workplace drug and alcohol screening program, you are valuing both regulations and people. Call CMM Technology today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

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