Signs an Employee Has a Substance Abuse Problem

Signs an Employee Has a Substance Abuse Problem

Sadly, addiction is rampant no matter where you live or work. You never know when it will dig its claws in someone close to you. As a manager, you need to recognize the signs an employee has a substance abuse problem for your company to stay safe and productive.

Declining Performance

You know what to expect from your employees every day they come to work. Ergo, if you notice a sudden decline in their performance, they may be struggling with some personal demons. Even if you inquire, they may try to keep it from you, so act more as a confidant rather than their boss.

Unexcused Absences

Suffering from addiction affects an individual 24 hours a day. Your employee may be active in the odd hours of the night, making it challenging for them to show up to work in the morning. Additionally, other unexcused absences may be the result of dealing with a hangover or severe withdrawal. Work is the least of anyone’s concerns when hovering above rock bottom, which is why sporadic absences are a significant red flag.

Noticeable Changes in Appearance

It might be difficult for the employee to see, but the physical side effects of addiction are rather evident. If you notice someone’s appearance is drastically changing for the worse, it may be time to intervene and handle the issue. If questioned, an employee might use illness as an excuse for their demeanor and appearance. While that may be true, you need to get to the bottom of what’s happening if it becomes a persistent occurrence.

Signs of Money Problems

It’s a bad sign if an employee is consistently asking for an advance for their paycheck. Stuff happens in life that requires an advance now and then. However, it’s rare that someone asks for an advance twice a month. Furthermore, if an employee is dipping into their 401K or asking around for a few bucks, that’s hardly ever a good sign of stability.

Erratic Behavior

Typically, an addict is on edge and could snap at multiple people at any second. Even the most mundane complication can send someone off the rails, signifying someone has dark clouds hovering above their head. If an instance like this happens, you will need to come between the troubled employee and the concerned co-worker to ensure everyone’s safety. Once the dust settles, you can get to the bottom of the problem, which may include substance abuse.

These warning signs an employee has a substance abuse problem are crucial for two reasons. Firstly, productivity matters in the workplace, and that’s usually your primary concern. Secondly, and more importantly, the health of someone, a colleague, and someone you might consider a friend. Hence, why spotting these signs and offering help is beneficial for everyone involved.