• Leadership Strategies to Prevent Employee Substance Abuse Relapse and Optimize Business Viability

      Narine, John; Aldridge-Anthony, Lakisha (2021-06)
      Employees, who relapse from substance abuse, precipitate unnecessary costs to employers through absenteeism, production loss, turnover, and health care. Addicted employees who relapse are becoming a growing concern as substance abuse relapse and overdose rates have significantly increased during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore strategies leaders use to understand the needs of addicted employees during a crisis, reduce employee substance abuse relapse rates, and ensure business viability. The conceptual framework for this study is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Goleman’s emotional intelligence theory, and emotional sobriety. The population for this study includes 10 leaders located in the United States. The participants were chosen using purposeful snowball sampling and were asked 11 open-ended questions via qualitative interviews to gather rich and detailed data to saturate this study. Through data analysis, the researcher uncovered four themes: (a) meeting employees where they are; (b) building personal connection through vulnerability; (c) diversity and inclusion; (d) strategies formed through education and practical experience. Analysis of the findings revealed that leaders who participated in addiction education and utilized individualized consideration prevented relapse and improved organizational performance by addressing employee needs. The results of this study may be adopted by leaders to effectively retain an engaged and performing workforce by enhancing corporate policy and practices related to addicted employees.