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place initiative with his 200+ workforce, would cause the loss of close to half of his employees. Certainly, the drug users would leave, but he was concerned also that he would lose employees in protest to the initiative! He pictured himself and his man- agers loading and driving trucks of food to their usual destinations in order to keep the business going. Jim was a visionary but, at the time, his vision was clouded by fear of the unknown. Aſter several strategy-making sessions


and the support of his top team members, Buterfield was ready to roll out a Drug- Free Workplace initiative and, in late 1999, a new era for Buterfield & Vallis was set to emerge. Some of the points of indecision centered on when and where a person used drugs or drank. Once it was determined that what really matered was that the drug or alcohol was in the body while at work and not when it was consumed, their policy became clearer. Drinking at lunch was no longer accept- able since, even though it was consumed during the employee’s lunch hour, they remained intoxicated upon return to work. Tis was a shiſt in culture. Likewise, the use and abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications were all unacceptable in the work environment. Another big shiſt! Not only was Buterfield & Vallis suc-


cessful in establishing a Drug-Free Work Initiative, it is clear that they have become leaders in this arena. Buterfield & Vallis topped the list of local international busi- ness and economics magazine Te Botom Line’s Top Ten Employers in 2010. Tey are doing a lot of things right and their Drug-Free Workplace initiative sets the standard for all others. In May 2012, Marcia Breen, a journal-


ist for Bermuda’s daily newspaper Te Royal Gazete, interviewed Buterfield & Vallis leaders, managers, supervisors, and workers as well as Benedict Associates Ltd. as the initiative service provider. In


16 datia focus


the article, her interviews with repre- sentatives revealed “improved business performance by reducing absenteeism, turnover, and lowered accident rates—all measurable. Buterfield & Vallis also had a few unexpected effects—improved morale and giving some employees a new lease on life.”1 Breen went on to say, “Senior manage-


ment and entry-level employees as well claim that the drug screening program has made for a healthier, happier set of employees who take pride in their work. It’s actually a dual benefit: it’s good for the company to know that most all of their employees are not using drugs. It’s good for the employee, who may be found to be using, to not be fired rather given attention and opportunity to stop using and stay on as a drug free member of staff.”1 “From a health & safety perspective, this


company has big trucks on our public roads as well as heavy duty machinery in ware- houses loading and unloading merchan- dise. Buterfield & Vallis determined they had a triple set of responsibilities: to the public at large, to the entire workforce, and to the company as a business enterprise.”1


The Screening Data Te screening initiative began in Janu-


ary 2001 whereby the 200+ workforce was notified that everybody would be subject to a screening blitz over the first 90 days of the year. It would be a mater of “random when” rather than “random if”. Numbers represent- ing employees were pulled without replace- ment into the pool of possible pulls and, by the end, each employee had been called for a screen. Although the total complement of staff hovered around 200, it was not a static number. At times there were as few as 198 or as many as 205 with the turnover as it was. Even with notice and daily buzz about the possibility of being called for a screen, the findings revealed that 10 percent of the existing workforce was not drug-free. From


April through the end of 2001, there were another 100 random screens and the find- ings were that 15 percent of the workforce was not drug-free. Te company leaders were somewhat relieved to discover that the level was 14 percent rather than the antici- pated 50 percent that had been projected. Nevertheless, the leaders believed that the realization of 15 percent could be dimin- ished even more. Tey were right. Here are the numbers and percentages over time for pre-employment screening data as well as for random screens:


Pre-Employment Screens Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


% Using 20% 24% 13% 23% 15% 16% 16% 17% 12% 13% 17%


Random Screens Year % Using


2001


2001 2002


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


10%


14% 15%


1.1% 2.8% 2.5% 2.1% 5.1% 2.7% 0.4% 1.2% 0.4%


Total screens 200


(January–March) 100


(April–December) 149 189 195 198 191 217 259 256 259 267


summer 2013


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