Being the Human Resource Administrator for your company is hard work. You are expected to know all the answers while upholding the policies and procedures that make your company run smoothly. Sometimes your job may feel like a walk in the park and other times like a steep hike up Mount Everest.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your company has a safe work environment for all of your employees to maintain a high level of productivity. So when you notice an employee whose work productivity is on a decline, you as HR, are responsible to investigate and make decisions to correct that behavior.
Employees with alcohol addictions are 270% more likely to have an injury-related absence resulting in missed days of work and low productivity.
Before this problem becomes a work liability, here are 3 warning signs to look for in an employee you may think is struggle with an addiction to alcohol.
1. Repeated Absences
That 9 to 5 Monday through Friday can be stressful and exhausting, especially if you have parental responsibilities. When the weekend rolls around many people can’t wait to crack open their first beer of the weekend or unwind at their favorite bar.
It is more common than not to have someone binge drink their weekend away only to feel lethargic and unmotivated on Monday. Those who do come in on Monday may not be on top of the game, struggling to keep up with their workload. Others may call in sick with the “Monday Flu” sleeping off their weekend of booze and debauchery.
2. Change in Work Attendance and Performance
Nothing is more demotivating at 6:00am than a hang-over when all you need is that extra 30 more minutes of sleep. Heavy drinking on a regular basis has been known to take a toll on the body over an extended period of time.
One’s appearance and hygiene can suffer as the body tries to rid itself of the toxins of alcohol. Bad breath, unpleasant body odor, and even the overall appearance of the employee become noticeable if their drinking starts to get out of hand.
3. Attitude and Behavioral Problems
Often the first thing noticed in someone suffering from alcoholism is their mood and behavior. Coming into work with a hang-over is always noticeable. Irritable, sensitive to light, headache the size of the Grand Canyon; being a social norm others may chuckle and be responsive to their change of mood. But when it becomes a daily inconvenience, it is HR’s responsibility to intervene.
The problem becomes more apparent if the employee is often secretive or guarded hiding liquor in their desk; stealing sips when no one is looking. Dishonesty becomes a norm, making excuses for their nasty behavior to others or their lethargic productivity.
Over 92% of people afflicted with alcoholism do not receive the care they need causing their employer’s to flip the bill for loss productivity and medical expenses.
Signs of an Alcoholic
Signs of alcoholism can be subtle but grow as alcohol use becomes more frequent. Obvious physical signs include smelling alcohol on the breath, slurred speech, a puffy face, and red eyes. Emotional signs can be severe irritability or being easily angered. Those who experience physical dependence on alcohol can be self-medicating to cope with a co-occurring disorder or trauma. As the drinking worsens, the individual may not be able to go 24 hours without needing a drink.
The alcoholic will rationalize or take risks to continue drinking throughout the day. Common behaviors associated with alcoholism or alcohol addictions include not showing up for work, or bringing alcohol in a concealed container to work. At home, where drinking was once a social endeavor, the individual may begin drinking in secrecy and therefore begin isolating themselves for their family or friends.
You may notice a significant behavior change in them and intuitively know that something is wrong, especially if you have known this person for a significant amount of time. As the problem worsens, the signs become more obvious. Individuals who are experiencing issues with alcohol may become very defensive answering any questions from family, friends, and employers.
Eventually, family, friends, and co-workers will want to confront the issue, and it may not be easy to bring the individual out of denial. Hopefully, the individual will speak up for themselves and ask for help.
You Have the Power to Choose
As HR, you are given the authority to choose.
What is a write up?
What is a verbal warning?
How the employee must change their behavior in the time frame needed?
It is your responsibility to gauge the level of disciplinary action and when dealing with something like alcohol or drug abuse, people tend to lean on termination than any another solution.
A Better Today Recovery Services is here to offer another choice that is more cost effective for your company.
A choice to provide your employees with a level of care that would encourage productive behavior upon returning from treatment. Trust in us to address your struggling employee’s alcohol problem in a discrete and timely fashion. Refer us to your employee by calling (877) 740-5451 and know that they are in good hands.
Saving Lives, Healing Families.