Collaboration and cooperation between employers and employees is critical to the effectiveness of a drug-free workplace program. Rather than issuing a mandate from high within an organization, it is better to build consensus among the workforce so that workers agree with and participate in the decision-making process. When workers are involved in a drug-free workplace program from the start, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and help contribute to its success.
To engage workers in the process, you may want to:
- Invite their input into the planning and implementation process by convening meetings and/or conducting surveys, focus groups or interviews.
- Include the program design and implementation in the collective bargaining process. (Drug testing is a mandatory issue for negotiation. But even in a program that does not include drug testing, employers should collaborate with any union(s) representing employees. A program that is mutually beneficial and effective for both management and labor helps foster employee confidence in and support for drug-free workplace efforts.)
- Include employee leaders and representatives in developing and implementing employee education efforts.
- Provide executive briefings for employee leaders prior to program development, so they fully understand the issues about which their input is sought.
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