It’s Friday. The time is 4:30 and its summer in Britain. There’s only one thing on your mind.
The refreshing first sip of that crisp, cool beer or a chilled glass of rosé immediately after the bell tolls 5.
This post-work ritual is a revered part of the working week, for good reason. It’s finally time to relax after working your little cotton socks off for 40 hours this week.
Whilst unwinding at the end of the week is a great way to recharge before the next week hits, nobody would dream of mixing alcohol with work. Would they?
An article published on the HR Grapevine by Beckett Frith proved me wrong.
According to the report, a detective for Merseyside Police clocked in for work so drunk ‘she thought she had finished her shift in just one hour’.
To the untrained eye, this reeks of ‘whacky Facebook story’ that resulted in a dismissal. To an HR expert, this is a complex workplace crisis.
When ex-Detective Constable Donna Montgomery showed up to her trial for driving with excess alcohol, her reasoning behind her misdemeanour was `workplace stress’. Montgomery claimed:
“I had been off work for three months with work-related stress… I was upset by what had happened and I started to drink more. I could have a bottle of wine a night.”
With nearly 600,000 dependent drinkers in England and serious medical conditions linked, it’s hard to avoid the dreary underlying issues within the story.
But how should you deal with drinking in the workplace and the problems surrounding it?
Firstly, you need to identify the signs of an employee with an alcohol problem. Natural HR have made a handy list of the warning signs.
Secondly, you need to approach the issue in a calm and collected manner, as to not draw too much attention to the individual and respect their privacy.
The Society for Human Resource Management has some really good information on how to approach the situation carefully, discreetly and sensitively to avoid the issue turning into something more than it is.
Whatever you do, always put the health and safety of your colleagues first.
A great position to be in as an HR employee is one that is experienced and qualified to deal with situations such as this. For more information on how to get qualified, check out the DPG website.