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How to Help Employees Who Are Drinking on the Job

Drinking on the job presents a variety of problems. It can affect productivity, impair job performance and threaten public safety in the work place. For these reasons, an alcohol problem at work can spell big trouble, not only for the employee with the problem, but for the employer as well.

For practically all businesses, an alcohol problem can entail significant costs, and must be stopped immediately. One simple way in which employers can face this problem is by implementing a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. But it should not stop there. Naturally, it will be hard to prove if an employee is breaking this policy unless he or she is caught. At best, management can suspect it and the employee can just deny it.

To make sure that the work place is alcohol-free, both the employer and the employees should know how to spot someone who has an alcohol problem. A crucial step is to have the employees undergo random and unannounced screenings. This can greatly help in identifying the employees who have problems with alcohol.

However, everyone at the work place must be aware that drinking on the job is a hot-button issue in their particular company. It must be remembered, though, that cases of alcohol abuse have to be handled with a sympathetic tone, rather than a confrontational one. Fortunately, employers can also ask for help from any local support groups. These groups can educate employees on the effects of giving in to an alcohol problem at work, as well as the safety and health problems that it may cause.

Support groups can usually be contacted at community hospitals and at local substance abuse prevention chapters. Through their help, as well as support from our specialists at, a work place can truly be free from alcohol and all of the problems that it entails. Indeed, drinking on the job can be prevented. However, employers must take a proactive approach before any problems worsen. Let’s start now.

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August 13,2009

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