Monday, October 24, 2011

DOT Training and Reasonable Suspicion Tip 5: “You’ll ruin my career.”

Here is another tip for you to consider in your DOT Training for Supervisors.
Manipulation is at hand, and ploy is “fear of lawsuit” and “guilt”.

Your employee can’t see the future and neither can you. Second, even if you could know all possible outcomes of documenting your suspicions and scheduling an alcohol test, you do your employee no favors by giving into manipulation. An employee knows they are manipulating in the “you’ll ruin my career” threat.

Allowing an employee to convince you that a drug test will be harmful to his or her career and life is called enabling. Enabling is behavior that appears compassionate on its face, but ultimately harms the substance abuser by allowing destructive behaviors to continue without consequence. “If you remove the pain, you are buying the next drink.”

Remember this: Whatever negative consequences follow, they are a direct result of your employee’s alcohol or drug affected decisions and actions. You are not the cause of his/her problems. In fact, your intervention to help solve problems makes the underlying problem worse.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be empathetic and compassionate. Most companies have policies that support employees getting treatment and remaining employed. Do everything in your power to make these policies work for your employee. Even if your company does not provide help with substance abuse and fires for one positive test, it still saves lives—the employee’s life and others.

Monday, October 3, 2011

DOT Training and Reasonable Suspicion Tip 4: “I have used.”

Here is another tip for you to consider in your DOT Training for Supervisors.
Occasionally employees will fully own up to their actions. Their honesty means “I need help” and frequently signals a substance abuse problem. Employees who admit to using drugs or alcohol should still be tested.

The goal of an employee who discloses use is sympathy. If you employee can garner sympathy from you, you might discuss the problem, and better yet accept the employee’s explanation, plans for treatment, and tale of whoa.

Manipulation is the goal. If your employee has a substance abuse problem, this may be the proverbial “rock bottom” moment. It is that incidental opportunity to get help. That starts with a drug test. Expect your employee to display distress, feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and remorse. But don’t feel guilty. Feel empowered.

Don’t make false promises out of sympathy. The main priority is getting the employee help through testing.”

After you’ve tested your employee, make sure that he has emotional support. If your organization provides employee assistance services, it is likely they are involved in the testing and assessment pathway. If not, encourage your employee to take advantage of services to which he or she may be referred.