Day in and day out, we work with people that, most of the time, we don’t know very much about. Outside of company get togethers and everyday things at the office, we don’t tend to spend a whole lot of time with our employees. Their lives are just as important to us, but not usually within our circle of friends or family.
However, when certain signs begin to manifest, it might be a good idea to invest some time and energy into making sure they aren’t experiencing an addiction problem. This is, first and foremost, very dangerous to them and any family they might have. Below are some signs to look for and how you might be able to help.
They Are Frequently Late
In the life of every worker, there comes a little trouble here and there. Sometimes you just can’t help being late for work. Your child misses the bus and you have to take them to school, you simply slept through your alarm, or you had a flat tire on the way to work. These are all instances where it is understandable that you might be tardy for work.
However, these things should not happen two to three times a work week. If your employee is coming into work late two to three times the average worker, they may be struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. At this point, it is expected that you would have the customary sit down discussion with him/her and offer any assistance that you can to help them get to work promptly and without absences.
Don’t Care About Personal Hygiene Or Appearance
Any job requires a certain care be taken when considering personal hygiene and appearance. Even most fast food restaurants require you to tuck a uniform shirt in and wear a belt.
This symptom will be most noticeable in an office setting. If the vice-president of your company, who normally shows up in a three piece suit and tie for work suddenly starts showing up without the tie and shirt untucked, or worse, in his Saturday lounge clothes, and reeks to high heaven, you may have an issue.
Now is the time to address the problem directly, but respectfully. Talk to your employee in private, but with a witness. Ask about life situations or stresses that he/she may be going through. Your worker may just need a break. If the situation is more serious, offer to help find a rehab.
Unusual Physical Symptoms
Most workplaces have that employee that is the comic relief for tense moments. There is also the man/woman that does everything backwards or never talks much. These occurrences are pretty normal in any work setting.
However, when you run into a worker who is normally one way and all of a sudden, or even gradually, becomes another, your employee may need immediate help. For example, if Joe, who is a pretty average guy, came into work one day and started to work everyone under the table, you might consider he is being influenced by a stimulant of some sort.
If Mary, who happens to be a larger girl, suddenly began to lose a lot of weight at a rapid pace or began to wear long sleeves in the summer, you might want to look into why.
If you find out there is an immediate problem, you may need to get the authorities involved, but the overall goal is to make sure addicted employees receive the help they need.