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Drug Testing Employees: Is It Effective?

Drug Testing Employees: Is It Effective?

Many businesses choose to require drug tests of their employees, whether it’s once at the start of employment or even periodically throughout the time employed at their company. There are many reasons employers may decide to drug screen employees. People who do not use illicit substances tend to be more productive and motivated employees. Impairment due to drug usage is also a safety issue in businesses where heavy machinery is used. If you’re considering requiring a drug screening from your employees, check out this guide to drug testing employees to answer the burning question: Is it effective?

Effects on morale and trust

Requiring drug tests of your employees can make the trust between employees and employers feel segmented and one-sided. It can be a subtle way of telling your employees you don’t trust their judgment. This can be a serious hit to morale levels in the workplace, especially if you require workers to complete multiple random drug tests a year. Even when using a completely randomized system, an employee may feel as though they are selected more times than others and feel singled out. This is another hit to morale and mutual trust.

Avoidance and incorrect testing methods

If a company does choose to drug test their employees, they should be aware that there are ways to “cheat” or skew the test results. This means that the drug test results won’t always give a perfectly clear picture on each worker’s drug usage. There are actual products people can purchase at drug stores to help them to cover up their true results, either resulting in an inaccurate negative or a clouded result that requires a retest at a later date.

Effects on workplace safety and employee health

Drug testing employees typically results in healthier workers. Workers who don’t do drugs tend to be more productive and effective workers while maintaining their health better. Workplaces that drug test employees tend to get better rates on health insurance plans, since drug-free workers are much less likely to have costly health expenses and conditions than those who do not use illicit substances.

There are many upsides and downsides to the decision to drug test your employees. While the trust may be 

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