Employee Management: When to Fire and When to Require Rehabilitation

As efficient as it may seem to fire employees who are engaging in substance abuse, especially in a weak job market where plenty of potential employees are available, it is actually more expensive and costs your company more resources.

In a book by Walter F. Scanlon, he describes the social acceptance and rejection of EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs), which help employees with problems causing poor job performance. These programs include help with drug addiction, alcohol addiction and temporary setbacks.

Scanlon describes how labour unions are likely to view EAPs with suspicion and distrust because of the system already in place to settle disagreements: the management-labor union bargaining table. Employee assistance programs can look like a way around this bargaining table; a resource which management can use to circumvent accountability to the union. [1]

However, EAPs have been found useful in delivering consistent productivity and goal achievement within the company. Is there a difference between internal and external EAPs?

Yes. Scanlon says that in-house assistance programs are far more cost-effective than external programs. The cost per employee can be reduced to less than $100 per employee. This model only is applicable if the company is in one location and the company culture fits the requirements of the model. In other circumstances, the employee program would be better suited if it is contracted out to an outside provider who handles problem resolution and cost containment. [1]

Now, the question arises of when to fire and when to require rehabilitation. Since 1, Company costs are reduced by using an employee assistance program and 2, the program must be custom fitted to the needs and ergonomics of the company location, using an employee program seems to be the better choice when dealing with initial offenders. However, employees who need help with their job productivity and refuse to exploit the benefits of such a program may be too far gone to remain a liability to the company. Many people would rather alter, or at least work to improve, their behavior before losing their income. If this is not the case, you may need to begin looking for a replacement. [1]

It is important to employ quality drug and alcohol testing services within your business, and it is especially important to use excellent testing equipment. CMM Technology offers saliva and urine drug testing equipment and alcohol testing equipment. Contact CMM Technology today: +618-9204-2500.

1. Scanlon, Walter F.. Alcoholism and drug abuse in the workplace: managing care and costs through employee assistance programs. 2nd ed. New York: Praeger, 1991. Print.

Tags: , , ,