Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, Company of the Year Award – 2014
Small Business, Under 200 Employees
Katzinger’s Delicatessen is a Jewish style delicatessen that has been in business for nearly 30 years and has become known as a Columbus, Ohio institution.
What inspired you to start a drug-free workplace program? Katzinger’s was inspired to start a drug-free workplace because the restaurant industry had become the number one industry for the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Our experience has been that a restaurant is a very likely first job for a young person and we were hoping to impact what that young person’s experience might be. Additionally, we had a strong desire to eliminate substance abusers for our staff of 38 through new-hire testing and prevent all the negative behaviors which can impact a business like ours including chronic tardiness, excessive call-offs and basic safety on the job.
How do you define success for your business? Like most businesses, Katzinger’s defines success by sales and profits. However, to a larger degree we define success by employee morale and our ability to create an enjoyable service environment. This culture of service is made possible by having staff that is punctual, attentive, upbeat and engaging. We believe that our drug-free workplace policy and program has helped us to hire staff members that better represent these qualities and attributes. We now receive fewer applications for positions but we are able to spend more quality time reviewing them, increasing the quality of our hires.
What do you suggest to other companies like yours who are considering a drug-free workplace program? It is not always an easy transition to become a drug-free establishment as many current employees may not buy in to the decision. We were fortunate to have received coaching on this issue from the consulting/training firm that assisted us in developing our program. It is also important to always remember why you wanted to make this change and understand and stay focused on the long-term goals for your company as well as the plan. Once the plan has been successfully implemented, you will find yourself with more time to work on your business while spending far less time on employee problems.