The Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative - What is it?
When substance use affects the health of your organization, there’s a new direction in how to handle it.
It’s called the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative – and it can take your business to better morale, better bottom-line performance, and happier, healthier, loyal, long-term employees.
Being a Recovery Friendly Workplace is good economic policy. It’s also good HR and healthcare policy.
Substance use disorders (SUD) impact all workplaces. According to the National Institutes of Health, 75% of adults with untreated SUD are part of the US workforce – and they miss around 50% more workdays than their fellow employees.
A Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) keeps employees on the job while they recover from SUD and has policies that support the recovery process. These policies emphasize help, hope, and realize the economic potential of healthy employees. Learn more about the benefits for businesses that implement recovery friendly policies.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has identified 5 Key Principles to guide the development of a new approach to dealing with substance use disorder (SUD) in the workplace. Here’s a summary of the 5 Key Principles and what they mean.
1. EARLY IDENTIFICATION
SUD in general does not go away without treatment, so it’s essential to be alert to the issues, identify employees who may be struggling with SUD, and intervene early so that the problem can be addressed and contained.
2. INSTANT SUPPORT
Employers who are willing to take fast action on this issue are more likely to retain their employees, increase productivity, and be recognized for having a positive company culture.
3. EMPLOYER FLEXIBILITY
For some employees, their job is an important part of recovery. The employer’s flexibility may even be the catalyst for the employee to get help in the first place.
4. REGULAR REVIEW
SUD is a disability that requires simple, but consistent communications.
5. ENLISTING SUCCESS
Large issues that impact the workplace (like SUD) can be solved more effectively when organizations mobilize together. It takes employers, employees, union officials, contractors, suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain to collectively make safety a priority.
September 2021 RFW Region 1 Update!
Since its inception (2021) here in region 1, the RFW team has met regularly on a bi weekly basis to collaborate on best practices when connecting with local companies in an effort to begin the RFW certification process. The latest in the initiative sees region 1’s RFW team successfully connecting with and beginning the work with the following four agencies for certification, Career Resources Inc. The Workplace, Liberations and RYASAP. The team has also attended the first ever National Recovery Friendly Conference in June of 2021. This conference provided support from other RFW initiative across the United States. With these connections, region 1’s RFW team hopes to leverage and strengthen the rollout in the region. Continued work and effort to further identify agencies is ongoing.