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.