Monday, January 27, 2014

Supervisor Training Won't Work for Methamphetamine Abuse By Employees

Meth is the street name for a crystallized form of an illicit drug called methamphetamine hydrochloride. Just as crack is smokable cocaine, so is methamphetamine. You may see photos on the Internet or on TV showing meth addicts with gaunt-looking faces and mouth or skin problems. Employed workers who use meth many not typically look sick. However, they do have performance problems. The chemical properties of this drug are similar to cocaine, but the onset of meth's effects are slower and the duration is longer. Like cocaine, it is highly toxic and extraordinarily addictive. In general, chronic abuse of meth produces a psychosis that resemble schizophrenia and is characterized by paranoia, picking at one's skin, preoccupation with one's own thoughts and auditory and visual hallucinations. Effects on productivity include occupational injuries and fatalities, increased illness rates and health benefits utilization, lost productivity, low employee morale, workplace violence, theft, employees disappearing on the job, criminal activity at work, quality-of-work issues, domestic problems that interfere with work, and arrests or criminal charges that interfere with attendance. Supervisor skills and supervisor training to help spot Meth users usually won't work unfortunately because the direct signs of drug abuse and intoxication will not be so clear as to warrant a reasonable suspicion test. Job performance, conduct, quality of work, attendance, disappearing on the job are more likely to be spotted. They key is a professional evaluation arranged with a knowledge expert who can pick up in a clinical interview the clinical signs and symptoms sufficient enough to recommend an even more indepth assessement, and then a treatment recommendation. Get supervisor training in substance abuse by visiting

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yup, If Necessary, Tell Your Employees How Think

You are not likely to hear this in supervisor training---sometimes, you simply need to tell employees how to think. It's part of your job as the supervisor. I know, it sounds nuts. Employees are supposed to think for themselves. Newsflash: They don't. During the year, tell your employees that if they don’t agree with what’s been pointed out in their review, to ask for clarification. Too many employees accept what they deep down inside know is incorrect. And give them an example, such as, “You’ve said that I don’t always use good judgment. Could you give me an example? I’d really like to learn from this.” Tell your employees to think of a performance review as an opportunity for self-improvement. Acknowledge their disappointment and tell them that they may feel angry about what their review can do. Tell employees to resist the urge to become emotional. Tell employees that if they calmly ask for clarification, that you as their boss will appreciate having the opportunity to explain it. And tell your employees that doing this will help show that they are taking your comments seriously. When employees hear you set the tone, they almost always follow through. Doing this could change your entire work culture for the better, almost overnight. Do you have a skills newsletter for supervisors? You find two such newsletters at