How to handle employee addiction

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Obviously, not everyone wants a cake upon their return to work, but this story reminds us to think of an employee returning to work after receiving addiction treatment as we would for an employee with any other health issue. 

Stigma and discrimination are important factors in influencing whether an employee is open and honest about their problem and influencing how they return to work.  At Renascent, we support the supervisor/manager as well as HR staff in ensuring an employee's return to work experience is good for the employee and for the employer. 

How an employee transitions back into the workplace sets the stage for their relationship with the organization for months and years to come.  The best thing an employer can do to support the employee upon return to work is to prepare in advance and be ready with following the right steps (e.g., open communication that is supportive and not intrusive, clear and straightforward communication supported by the "last chance agreement" contract that was mutually developed).

Remember, an individual who is working, one day at a time, to embrace sobriety and recovery is being hypervigilant about their own mental health. They are actively working a program of recovery every day and this shows in their performance and commitment. An employee in long-term recovery will often stand out as among the most loyal, committed and productive members of the team.
 
Dr. Patrick Smith will be co-hosting a keynote presentation on “Demystifying mental health” at the upcoming HR Leaders summit. Joined by employment lawyer Lorenzo Lisi and two prominent HRDs, the panel will feature four distinct perspectives and tackle some of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of this increasingly common issue.

 To find out more about the 2015 HR Leaders Summit, due to take place next month, click here.

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