Dealing with substance abuse at the workplace

pastillas 5

 

That substance abuse is a serious issue and menace at the US workplace needs no iteration, if one takes a look at these disturbing statistics compiled by the National Drug Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) for five years from 2008 suggest:

  • Close to nine percent of the workforce in the age group of 18-64 used alcohol heavily in one month prior to the survey

 

  • More than eight percent used illicit drugs in the same preceding period

 

  • Between nine and ten percent of the employees were dependent on either alcohol or illicit drugs for a year prior to the survey

 

  • Substance abuse correlates to the industry in which people work. Mining and construction workers are prone to be the highest consumers of alcohol, while those in the accommodation and food services industry topped in the use of illicit drugs.

These statistics apart, there are many aspects of substance abuse that are of serious concern to the workplace. When employees resort to substance abuse –defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the illicit and unauthorized use of harmful substances such as alcohol and/or drugs among others –they become a liability for organizations in more senses than one.

Effects of substance abuse at the workplace

Employees who resort to substance abuse at the workplace suffer from issues that affect their own productivity and that of others:

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information estimates that the loss, from substance abuse is around $ 13,000 annually per employee. The direct or indirect loss from substance abuse amounts to over $100 billion for the US economy overall. This figure is pretty conservative, since it does not factor in how much more this money could have generated if it were to be put on the right resources.

It also does not take into account the psychological aspects of substance abuse, such as the disturbance it places on the family, and the loss that this habit causes by stunting the emotional development and productive potential of the children affected by the habits of the bread earning member of the family.

These are just some of the ways by which substance abuse affects employees on a day-to-day basis:

  • Employees who are prone to substance abuse are less productive at work
  • They are less lively and are more likely to be lethargic during working hours
  • Their decision-making ability is hampered
  • They have a tendency for getting into verbal and physical fights with their peers
  • Drug or alcohol-dependent employees are more prone to illnesses and injuries, resulting in higher cost of medical attention

Management and HR need to act

Given the enormity of the problem of substance abuse at the workplace, it is imperative for managements and HR to become proactive in dealing with the problem. The onus certainly is on them to prevent and contain the problem of substance abuse at the workplace.

The ways of doing this will be the important learning from a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Dr. Steve Albrecht, one of the country’s leading experts on work and school violence prevention and on dealing with high-risk employees, customers, and taxpayers, and who wrote co-wrote Ticking Bombs, one of the first business books on workplace violence back in 1994, will be the speaker.

To hear from an expert of this stature about how to deal with issue of substance abuse at the workplace; please enroll for this session by visiting TrainHR .

A look at recent ambiguous laws

Dr. Albrecht will focus on the recent changes into state marijuana and medical marijuana use, which have made it quite difficult for employers to understand what is legal and what is not when it is used by employees, when consumed both during and off the job. He will cover the most common drugs of use and abuse, including stimulants, like meth and cocaine, hallucinogens, opiates marijuana, alcohol depressants, and dissociative anesthetics. He will explain the protocols for drug testing, results discussions, and return to work.

Above all, he will equip them with the understanding needed to determine if the employee’s altered behavior at work or low performance are a result of substance use. HR and other managerial cadre normally tend to overlook certain behavioral tendencies in problem employees or rationalize them to rule out the influence of drugs.

He will impart the following learning objectives from this session:

  • Recognize how drugs and alcohol are abused
  • Know how to identify the signs, symptoms, and behaviors of employee drug or alcohol use
  • Know how to have “crucial conversation” with employees suspected of drug or alcohol use
  • Understand the drug testing process, discipline, and return to work, and termination

Dr. Albrecht will cover the following area at this webinar:

  • Drugs and alcohol abuse
  • Types of drugs employees abuse and why
  • The testing process
  • Treatment programs
  • Discipline and Termination
  • Return to work.

Understanding payroll fraud and preventing it

payroll_software1

 

Payroll fraud is a matter of serious concern to the people affected by it, the organization in which it happens, and to the economy overall. It is estimated that payroll fraud is involved in around an eighth of all workplace frauds and makes up about a twelfth of all occupational frauds worldwide. On average, a payroll fraud case results in loss of $ 48,000 and avoids detection for about three years. Each payroll case fraud costs around $ 72,000.

It is rather unfortunate, but expected that small organizations bear the brunt of payroll frauds. The reason for this is not far to seek: They usually lack the requisite fraud detection mechanisms, making them particularly susceptible to payroll fraud.

Common methods for preventing payroll fraud

Many organizations take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Some of these include limiting access to the information relating to payroll, engaging different people for different levels and areas of payroll functions so that it acts as some kind of checks and balances system, conducting thorough background checks of the employees in charge of payroll functions, checking ghost employee accounts, installing automated clearing house (ACH) filters, and a few others.

Section 404 of SOX Act

Additionally, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, which was a landmark legislation aimed at putting checks on large corporate frauds, also requires companies to take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Section 404 of the SOX Act requires a few stringent steps:

  • Companies have to include an Internal Control Report in their annual financial reports stating that the management takes responsibility for implementing what SOX terms an “adequate” internal control structure
  • Management has to assess the effectiveness of this internal control structure
  • Deficiencies and discrepancies in these controls must be reported
  • These declarations by the management have to be attested by external registered auditors.

A complete discussion of the ways of preventing payroll fraud

A thorough understanding of all the elements of payroll fraud and the ways of preventing them will be discussed at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Dayna Reum, who is Payroll Tax Manager at PetSmart Inc. and has been heavily involved in the payroll field over 15 years; will be the speaker.

To get an in-depth idea of payroll fraud and to understand the ways of dealing with it, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Tools for detecting payroll fraud

The purpose of this session is to help participants gain an understanding of the legal rules around detecting and deferring payroll fraud. Dayna will review tools that companies can use to detect or deter fraud with immediate effect. She will take up Section 404 of the SOX Act for detailed discussion and examine the requirements in it that publicly traded companies have to meet. She will also explain how the provisions of the Act are designed to check payroll fraud.

This webinar will be of high value to professionals involved in payroll functions, such as Payroll Professionals, Compensation Professionals, HR Professionals, and Benefit Professionals. In the course of this webinar, Dayna will cover the following areas:

  • Payroll Fraud Statistic’s-How big of a problem is it?
  • How does payroll fraud occur?
  • Preventing Payroll Fraud
  • Internal Controls
  • Tools (Process Maps, Business Continuity Plans, Process Documentation)
  • Audits
  • Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Requirements
  • Ethical Business Practices.

Ways of understanding and eradicating bullying

 

workplace-bullying-signs

There is no gainsaying the fact that bullying at the workplace is a very harsh and wicked way of degrading a colleague. It is a very uncivilized form of harassment at the workplace and is a serious deterrent to a healthy relationship at the professional level. Workplace bullying is very abusive by nature. Those at the receiving end of workplace bullying are subject to mental torture that is very humiliating.

Some of the behaviors that are considered bullying at the workplace include:

  • Yelling at a colleague
  • Manipulating their work
  • Sending nasty emails
  • Targeting them and isolating them socially

What are the ways in which employees subjected to workplace bullying suffer?

Bullying, like abuse, causes deep psychological effects on the victim:

  • Workplace bullying lowers the self-esteem of the victim
  • It causes anxiety at work
  • Employees who are subject to workplace bullying have higher degrees of burnout and depression
  • They are certain to experience a highly lowered level of job satisfaction.

If allowed to continue unchecked, workplace bullying can cause several difficult situations. These are some of them:

  • Victims of workplace bullying are likely to look for reasons to leave their job
  • They are likely to be less efficient at work than other normal employees
  • Workplace bullying results in conflict and misunderstanding and unhappiness in the victims’ family lives
  • Victims of workplace bullying offer poor customer service
  • In an organization in which there is rampant bullying, the workplace becomes unhealthy and vitiated.

Explore bullying and ways of containing it

Want to understand workplace bullying, so that you can take the right steps to help your organization overcome its fallouts? Then, you need to attend a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Catherine M. Mattice, who is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, LLC, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007; will be the speaker.

This webinar has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

To get a complete understanding of what bullying is and to implement ways of identifying and controlling it; please enroll for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

A complete discussion on all aspects of workplace bullying

Catherine will start with giving an understanding of workplace bullying. She will teach strategies that can be adapted to implement a corporate policy that meets employees’ expectations and gets their buy-in. The ways of empowering employees, supervisors and managers to prevent bullying will be explained. She will offer a wide perspective on regulatory updates on workplace bullying.

During the course of this 90-minute session, Catherine will offer research-based information on the core areas of workplace bullying, which include a definition of workplace bullying. She will offer these and give suitable examples. She will then take up the social system of bullying and describe the damage caused to targets, bystanders, and the organization with workplace bullying.

Corrective measures

Catherine will then move on to making a business case for addressing bullying to organizational leaders and suggest corrective action items to end bullying. She will also explain what kind of preventative action items and sustainable culture change can be taken and then explain regulatory updates and offer information about where bullying has already been made illegal.

This session is highly relevant and useful to those in charge of employee affairs in an organization, such as HR professionals, Business consultants, EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs), Labor relations, Unions, Leaders, Directors, Managers and Supervisors, and business owners.

She will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • The definition of workplace bullying
  • Examples of bullying behaviors
  • The social system of workplace bullying
  • Damage caused to targets and the organization
  • Making a business case to the c-suite for ending bullying
  • Implementing a corporate policy that gets buy in from employees
  • Leaning on your core values to put a stop to bullying behavior
  • Empowering employees, supervisors and managers to stop bullying
  • Creating a strategic plan around ending bullying
  • Conducting effective employee and manager training that will provide the right skills
  • Regulatory updates on workplace bullying.

5 attributes for employee assistance program

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a program that an organization implements to ease some of the personal problems faced by its employees. An employee assistance program is largely voluntary, in that it is not mandatory either for organizations to implement it, or for very employee to avail it.

employee assistance program - TrainHR

According to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, here’s what to look for:

  1. 24/7 phone response. Seek out providers that have trained counselors on duty answering a toll-free phone line at all times. Avoid EAPs that require users to navigate an elaborate phone tree before reaching a counselor.
  2. Confidential services. Licensed, professional counselors should deliver assessments and face-to-face counseling sessions in safe, private and confidential offices. Make sure there are enough counselors in your area to deliver timely services in both urgent and nonurgent cases.
  3. Referral support and follow-up. The EAP should assist employees by providing referrals for long-term or specialized care based on assessed needs, recommended treatment and employees’ financial resources. The EAP should provide follow-up and ongoing support for employees.
  4. Crisis intervention. Will EAP counselors come to your facility if there’s an emergency, such as an incident of workplace violence? Good EAPs can provide counseling for traumatized employees. They can also help management coordinate emergency-response plans.
  5. Substance abuse expertise. Given their disproportionately great impact on the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse problems often represent the bulk of EAP cases.

Preventing employees from leaving your organization

Employee poaching is a major challenge for employers who have great employees. Such employees are always a soft target for competitors who want to do better (which competitor doesn’t want to?). If the organization has talented employees, it is extremely important to keep him or her, because such an employee’s departure can hurt more than the arrival of a replacement.

Look at yourself first

The most important step an organization needs to take to keep good employees is to look at the mirror. The process of keeping good employees starts with a deep sense of introspection. If an organization is faced with a situation where it keeps losing employees like ninepins, it is time to look inwards. It has to very objectively assess why employees are leaving. If there is a systemic problem in the organization in that it has a problem of keeping talented employees, it had better correct the flaw, because it will continue to lose great employees every few months.

Be open to employee suggestions

For this to happen; the organization should be like an open door rather than like a closed window. It should not only be critical of itself; it should be very open to criticism (of the right kind, of course) from others. It should ideally consult its own employees and ask them to come out with suggestions that they think will help the organization keep its employees. This way, it not only understands employee feelings towards it; it also enhances its standing with its own employees by being consultative and transparent. A very important element it has to keep in mind is implementing the suggestions it gets from its employees. Not all suggestions can be implemented, but surely, the ones that make the most sense have to be. The organization should not forget to reward the employee who gives the best suggestion about keeping employees. It should acknowledge that the employee who gave the best suggestion is a valuable resource. The organization should make it known that it is this employee who has made the best contribution in helping it improve its bottom line by keeping its best resources.

Find that bad apple

The reason many good employees could be leaving can sometimes be because of one rotten apple. A particular manager’s team members may be leaving more frequently than others. Although most managements ensure that there is a certain level of homogeneity in going about achieving its goals; each manager is different. Each person brings in his own traits and management styles. There are the consultative managers; the authoritative ones; the team person and so on. Finally, there is the odd manager who is despised by the team members. The top management has to keep a watch on this manager and see if he is the one that needs to be shown the door, because throwing such an obstacle out could mean keeping good employees for longer durations.

Management should be very decisive when it comes to packing such a manager off. It should not be bound by emotions or feel embarrassed in taking decision of this magnitude. It should think of it as a means of helping the organization grow better by getting rid of one stumbling block.

Identify the employees

Sometimes, a few talented employees are habitual hoppers. Even if the organization does take great care of them; they are always jumpy and like to keep looking for opportunities. If the management notices that there is a steep decline in the quality of work in an otherwise high-performing employee; it has to put the scanners on. It has to start zooming in on that talented employee during such phases and understand if it is just a passing stage or a genuine desire to leave the organization that is making him perform below his best. If the likeliness of leaving is the reason; it has to sit and talk the issue clearly with such an employee. The management should try its best to see what it is that is making the talented employee think of this taking this step and address his grievances and areas of concern. If this is not done; it stands a risk of losing a good employee.

Make sure the stayers are rewarded

Most organizations do a great job at analyzing and resolving the problem, but are poor at follow ups. A very important follow up an organization that is keen to retain its workforce has to make is to ensure that the ones who stay back are happy and contented. It needs to demonstrate that the employees who remain will be valued. It can make simple but profound gestures like offering an unexpected pay raise or a reward in the form of an outing. It should start working more freely with the existing employees and create conditions by which they will find it difficult to leave.

Reference:

http://tribehr.com/blog/prevent-employee-poaching-by-becoming-a-top-employer/

 

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Understand the Gen X employee to manage her

Managing Gen X could be the next big challenge for organizations. It is estimated that by around 2019; Gen X will be in charge of the workplace. What does managing Gen X entail? What is the generation like? Will managements be stretched to their limits in managing Gen X? Will they earn the same loyalty and respect they got from this generation that they got from the previous one/s?

What is Gen X?

After the baby boom generation, which relates roughly to those born in the post war period; the stage is set for the advent of the generation after that, or what is called Gen X, meaning those born from about the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s. Employment analysts surmise that these people will start to attain their highest productivity in around 2019, when they take up their professions or will be some years into it.

Why is managing Gen X considered challenging?

Managing Gen X is challenging for a simple reason: this is the first generation born after the Net took over our lives, so to speak. This generation is the first to be in this position, and sets the trend for being the generation that relies almost entirely on IT for almost anything it does.

In is out, out is in

Since gadgets are here to stay; we can expect that managing Gen X will be akin to managing these gadgets: here today, gone tomorrow. What implications does this trend have for the future of organizations? Employers will now have to come round to the fact that employees are no longer here to stay in the long run. This is the first principle governing the rules of managing Gen X.

Give up micromanaging

It is highly unlikely that Gen X will tolerate any bossing around or micromanaging from its employers. This is a generation that has grown up more independently than perhaps any previous one; so, for people of this generation, the most irritating trait is likely to be micromanaging from employers. They like to be left to themselves, because there are those many more opportunities for them to experiment with anything, be it gadgetry, work, or life itself. The best method in managing Gen X is to give them as much creativity and scope for improvement and experimentation as possible.

Forget loyalty

Another very important element of managing Gen X will be their tendency for job-hopping. It is next to impossible to expect this sprightly generation to stick around for years in the same organization or even in the same profession. For it, it is growth and job satisfaction that comes above everything else, including loyalty. Given that they form the typical global employee gang and the fact of being of very high ethnic diffusion; it is next to impossible to expect them to stay around.

References:

http://blog.dalecarnegie.com/leadership/talent-management-4-ways-to-motivate-gen-x-employees/

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898024_1898023_1898086,00.html

 

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Fringe benefits are an important factor in employee productivity

In organizations of varying sizes and kinds, there has been a trend of increased importance of fringe benefits. This is nothing recent or event-driven, but is important nevertheless, because organizations need to make all efforts to keep good employees, who are easily their biggest asset. A fringe benefit may be understood as some kind of extra benefit offered to the employees, which is usually in addition to the pay. This is not always linked to performance, which is what makes it different from other perks.

Why would employees welcome fringe benefits from the organization?

What makes fringe benefits important is the fact that they are generally not taxable. More importantly, they target certain needs of the employees to whom they are paid, and help them address some important expenses. For instance, let us say an organization has an annual holiday for the family for meeting set targets.

Any employee would be motivated to push herself into achieving these targets for the reward of enjoying that much needed quality time with the family, away from the bustle of work and the pressures going with it. This is an example of why organizations are attaching increased importance of fringe benefits.

Why do companies need to understand the increased importance of fringe benefits?

Fringe benefits are generally, but not necessarily affordable for bigger companies. When organizations have greater number of employees, the economies of scale weigh in their favor. They can afford special benefits to employees on a larger scale, which makes it affordable and is usually very rewarding, too.

If the organization can take of say, the children’s education or health insurance, it is taking the load off the employee’s shoulder for a major expense. This is the kind of benefit that will make the employee happy and satisfied, a direct result of which is increased productivity at work. It is well known that happy employees are the more productive ones. This realization on the part of employers has resulted in increased importance of fringe benefits.

The other side…

Conversely, when smaller organizations are unable to pay fringe benefits in some or another form to their employees, they end up hiring mediocre or inexperienced workers. This has a spiral effect, because they find it difficult to hire and keep good talent, and to keep them, they have to spend on expenses that they cannot afford because of their size. Having a good fringe benefits program will result in improved fortunes for the company. This explains why there is increased importance of fringe benefits.

References:

http://www.uww.edu/Documents/colleges/cobe/economics/wpapers/08_03_Artz.pdf

http://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/sbg/office-hr/managing-the-workplace/fringe-benefits-can-increase-employee-satisfaction.aspx

https://www.boundless.com/management/human-resource-management–2/current-topics-in-human-resource-management/increased-importance-of-fringe-benefits/

 

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539