Work is an important part of our life. Employment provides us with an income and much-needed benefits such as health insurance and retirement. Work also lends meaning to our daily life and in some ways defines “who” we are. Of course, our job is not our whole life, but we do spend much of our time at work, and it impacts some of our free time as well.
But no matter how dedicated a person is to their work and regardless of the meaning work provides in a person's life, there are times when personal problems get in the way of doing your job. That issue can be a personal substance use problem, a problem with feeling “blue” (i.e. depression) or trouble with a spouse or partner, a child (whether grown or still living at home), or even a parent.
Abuse Hurts the Workplace, but the Workplace Can Help
Personal and/or family issues can distract even the most motivated employee at work. That distraction can take the form of:
- Missed work – frequent absenteeism or consistent tardiness
- Loss of concentration at work resulting in less quality work accomplished or even a safety hazard
- Diminished passion for work and the mission of the organization or work unit
- Increased work-related stress and anxiety
- Conflict at work with supervisors and/or fellow employees
- Increased accidents at work
- An overall decrease in life satisfaction resulting in unhappiness and dissatisfaction at work
It is a myth that employees experiencing personal problems are “trouble” or are “bad” employees. The clear majority of people in the workforce want to do well and want to contribute but personal issues and problems can sometimes interfere with that goal. It’s not only a practical matter for an employer to want to help someone who is struggling at work due to a personal problem, but also the right thing to do. Years ago, a number of large companies were asked why they invested in programs to identify, help, and retain troubled employees. Even though all those companies recognized the financial and practical benefit of offering a helping hand to an employee who is struggling, the number one top reason to help employees, according to these companies was, “because it’s the right thing to do.”
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services wants to support its own employees and workers statewide who may be experiencing a difficult stretch in their life. We want people that are struggling to get the help and support that they want and need. We are “recovery friendly.”