Did you know that there’s a 16.9 percent chance the kid who took your coffee order this morning was on some kind of illicit drug as he worked the cappuccino machine?  Or that the guy who replaced your roof after the last storm had a 13.7 percent chance of being on illegal drugs while he was at your house?  According to the US Department of Labor an estimated 3.1 percent of employed adults actually used illicit drugs before reporting to work or during work hours at least once in the past year, with about 2.9 percent working while under the influence of an illicit drug.  

As a small business owner, your chances of hiring and employing individuals who routinely abuse drugs and alcohol are high: about nine in ten full-time workers with alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse work for small and medium size firms. Yet, the smallest percentage of businesses to utilize pre-employment screening is the small (under 500 employees) company. One reason why small businesses attract employees with drug and/or alcohol problems is because they often do not have or enforce drug policies, beginning with pre-employment screening.

The risks involved for a small business that hire without pre-employment tests are significant when just one incident involving an impaired worker could result in the company closing its doors.  It seems a small price to pay for a pre-employment test and a written drug policy when compared to that.  

Your company image and climate can also be affected when an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other employees feel resentment toward the affected worker for having to shoulder their workload or cover for mistakes. Higher turnover and absenteeism become the norm within your company and affects everything from cost effectiveness to reputation.  

A simple pre-employment screening assessment as part of your hiring policy can significantly reduce your liability while increasing productivity.   Beat the statistics by incorporating a drug-free policy at your small business that sends the right message to employees and customers alike, starting with pre-employment testing for illegal drugs and substance abuse.