Recovery Ready Workplace Program
Addiction and substance use disorders (SUD) cost the United States billions of dollars per year in healthcare costs, criminal justice involvement, and lost work and productivity. More than 15 million Americans with current or past SUD are members of the workforce.
MassHire Holyoke, in partnership with the Hampden County Workforce Board, is tackling this challenge head-on through the Recovery Ready Workplace Program.
The Recovery Ready Workplace Program is a voluntary initiative that provides information, education, and resources to Hampden County businesses to support employees in recovery from addiction.
What is a Recovery Ready Workplace?
Recovery Ready workplaces
• Support their communities by recognizing recovery from SUD as a strength and actively work to maintain and support the employment of people in recovery.
• Encourage a healthy and safe environment where employers and employees can work together to eliminate barriers for those impacted by addiction.
• Reduce stigma and judgement of people in recovery and work to shift attitudes and perceptions.
How Do They Do This?
They do this by
• Acknowledging and openly addressing the topic of drug and alcohol misuse.
• Educating employees and customers about the disease of addiction and treatment resources and options.
• Offering HR policies and practices to support employees who are in recovery from addiction.
Why Your Business Should be a Recovery Ready Workplace
People in recovery from SUDs are crucial contributors to the Massachusetts labor force and economy, but often must deal with stigma and lack of understanding from employers and restrictive HR policies.
Supporting people in their recovery is good for business! Recovery Ready Workplaces see
• INCREASED employee retention and fewer absences.
• HEALTHIER and safer work environment.
• GREATER productivity and loyalty among staff.
• LOWER health care costs.
• ENHANCED reputation as a supportive, yet highly accountable, organization.
How to Become a Recovery Ready Workplace
• Flexible hiring requirements — reconsider policies on criminal background checks and gaps in employment.
• Flexible schedules — adjust work hours to allow people to attend important treatment appointments and support meetings to maintain their recovery.
• Non-punitive or “open door” policy for employees seeking help with SUD.
• Benefits geared toward recovery — generous coverage for SUD treatment or an employee assistance program (EAP).
• A culture of recovery — an environment focused on health and wellness, not “happy hour” or after work drinks.