Developing a Recovery-Friendly Worksite requires a culture change for most organizations and businesses. This culture change must include principles and activities such as:
As an employer, you can influence each of these by providing a recovery-oriented workplace. By supporting education, including resources in your employee facing intranet and building recovery-friendly policies, you start to build a stigma-free zone. You can build on this by ensuring company social events do not promote the use of alcohol. Managing bullying and other trauma inducing events quickly, consistently, and compassionately can ensure you are not triggering substance misuse. Creating a safe place and compassionate policies that balance consequences, treatment, and recovery support further helps to advance your work in building a recovery focused work environment.
Recovery support helps to allow individuals to make the transition from sobriety to recovery and ensure a long-term approach to wellness. The worksite will need to flex and adapt to the unique needs of the individuals as their needs change over time. You have a role in supporting and promoting recovery support for employees and the community.
Learning from employees is another strategy used by recovery-friendly worksites. If employees are willing, a focus group of individuals in recovery could meet to provide feedback and brainstorm ways the company can support individuals affected by substance use, including those with family or friends who are struggling. If a focus group is not an option, inviting participants to fill out a confidential survey might also allow the company to receive ideas and feedback. Some companies have set up internal committees to ensure the issue remains a priority within the workplace.
Placing recovery-themed posters in public areas can reinforce positive messages and encourage employees to seek more information to expand their understanding and find solutions for themselves, family and friends. Sources for no cost or low-cost posters can be found on our resources page.