Does It Matter If Lower Level Employees Are Abusing Substances?

There exists a hierarchy in just about every company or business. This hierarchy begins at the “bottom rung” of the ladder, continues up through permanent staff, lower level managers, upper level managers, and corporate executives. If one lacks experience or a dependable work ethic, then even job transfer does not necessarily mean that placement will occur at a mid-level position. You must start out working the menial, lower level jobs, build your credibility and reputation with the company, bring in money for your business, and then promotion is a possibility. Lower level employees, especially employees who have been fired from previous jobs, are generally considered to be the most unreliable, the most likely to leave or transfer and the most “flighty.”

If the above stereotypical situation is true for your business, then less care and attention is placed on whether lower level staff may be abusing drugs or alcohol. If they are temporary employees and incompetent anyway, then they may merely be shut out from important decision-making and otherwise be left to accomplish what they will. This is a mistake. You must not become casual or lazy about holding your employees accountable for their actions…or lack thereof.

Douglas Cowherd and David Levine wrote an article on distributive justice theory, which is a philosophical standing about goods and resources distributed among a community. [1] Distributive justice theory describes how individual contribution is secondary to the more important issue of total outcome and how this outcome becomes available to everyone, not just a select few. Yes, this may seem to be a light version of communism, however, Cowherd and Levine describe how pay distribution between lower and upper level managers is correlated with personal investment in the company itself. When the differences in income are great, then lower level employees invest far less time, energy and attention to the quality and output of the business. When the differences in income are small, every member of the team is happy to chip in and make a much higher contribution.

All levels of your business are important and your lower level employees should be treated with the same amount of respect and appreciation as your upper management. This is also true with regard to accountability. Make sure that everyone is regularly tested for drug and alcohol abuse with quality equipment from CMM Technology. Call us today: +618-9204-2500.

1. “Product Quality and Pay Equity Between Lower-level Employees and Top Management: An Investigation of Distributive Justice Theory.” JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2011.

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