Good planning is the key to success. An effective approach to alcohol in the workplace should be tailored to the specific conditions, needs and resources of your workplace.
Strategies that reduce alcohol-related harm should be included right across an organisation. They need to be in its business practices and work environment, and in how it supports its people who may have issues with alcohol.
To plan you need to know about:
- any alcohol-related risks to safety, productivity and employee wellbeing in your workplace
- the factors that influence people’s drinking (see the Alcohol Facts and Information section).
Find out the current situation in your workplace by gathering information on:
- workplace performance, such as the quantity, quality and timeliness of output
- sickness absences, including patterns in absences (eg, regular sick days on Mondays or after lunch)
- accident/injury records
- disciplinary actions and dismissals
- any incidents that may have been associated with alcohol use.
You might survey your workforce, asking:
- do they know how alcohol affects health and wellbeing?
- do they know how alcohol can affect safety and performance at work?
- how do they view drinking in relation to work, such as drinking during working hours?
- what do they know about any existing workplace rules or restrictions about drinking alcohol?
Also, assess the culture in your organisation, considering:
- do employees regularly drink at lunchtime?
- is alcohol served at work?
- is drinking a part of celebrating achievements or winding down after shifts?
You might also involve an occupational health or counselling services provider to ask employees about any concerns they might have.
Once you have this information, start thinking about taking action to support responsible drinking habits, including creating a workplace alcohol policy.