Evaluating Your Program
Program evaluation is an important part of any drug-free workplace program. Periodic evaluation lets you know if you are saving money and improving your bottom line.
There are several ways to evaluate your program. Some employers hire a consultant, while other elect to conduct their own evaluations. For organizations with limited resources, this section offers guidelines for conducting a basic evaluation of your drug-free workplace program.
Establish a baseline; in other words, assess your organization as it is today. Specifically, check your company records for the past 2 years and figure out the incidence and prevalence of some or all of the following factors, which can be indicators of problems with alcohol or other drug abuse:
- Health care benefit utilization
- Workers Compensation claims
Estimate the costs of these factors in dollars, if possible. If records are not available for years past, start tracking the trends now. Also talk to employees at all levels of the organization to assess the current overall morale of the staff. This will give you baseline data for determining the impact of your program during the coming years.
Start your drug-free workplace program. Use the information in this kit as well as other available resources to help you plan and implement your program.
Review the records at the end of the first year (and in subsequent years) for the factors listed above. Also reassess employee morale. Compare the results to your baseline data. Have there been any changes?
Determining the success of your program will depend on your original goals. Revisit your original goals. Ask employees and supervisors to offer feedback. Talk to employees and supervisors about their perceptions of the impact of the policy and/or program. Cost savings may take some time to accumulate, but improved employee morale may be evident right away.
Establish an ongoing plan for evaluating your program to assess the cost/benefits of continuing your drug-free workplace program.
Use the results to modify your program. Establish a regular review period -- perhaps annually -- and use that time to assess the progress of the program. Determine the steps needed in the next year to reach your program goals. Consider developing a committee of employees from all levels of the workforce to assist in both the ongoing evaluation and the implementation of program changes.