Help Employees Recover From Gambling Addiction With 3 Decisive Steps

Many employers face the problem of employee addiction. Gambling addiction is no exception. Learn strategies to help an employee move toward recovery successfully.

Gambling addiction affects not only friends and family of an individual but also productiveness and morale in the work environment. Just like any other compulsion, gambling addiction enslaves the suffering individual to behave in ways counter to what is healthy and in their best interest. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones hurt by their exploits.

A person with a gambling addiction lies, cheats, even steals to satisfy their impulse. They become obsessed with how to appease their urges, finding only temporary relief when they do. Then the cycle repeats itself. Under such circumstances, it’s difficult to provide quality work for any employer.

Surprisingly, 2.6% of Americans have some problem with gambling addiction. Additionally, 75% of college students gamble and 2% to 7% become addicted to online casinos & other betting sites. These people go on to work in many professions eventually causing problems for companies, even contributing to the downfall of some. Addicted individuals are 30% less productive at work, are late often and absent five times more than other employees.

It’s tough when an employee has previously provided a profitable and worthwhile service for the business. Many addicted gamblers have ‘go-getting’ personalities and have impressed their employers in the past. Perhaps they’ve become a friend, as well.

Though terminating an employee is always an option, caring about them persuades employers to take other measures. Below are three actions you can implement to help bring about positive results for your employee and the company.

Firstly, direct communication is vital. It should be done in private, not in the style of group-intervention that makes the person feel pressured and shamed. State how much you value them and their work. Describe what you’ve noticed. With support and empathy, ask questions about what’s going on and listen attentively. Never come across judgmentally or accuse them of having a problem.

Secondly, offer resources. Let them know you want to help. Give them literature and programs they can look into when they’re ready. Offer to come along if they’re nervous about it. Talk about a personal experience to remove the stigma about therapy if you’ve been to a therapist. Hesitating gives the impression that it’s something negative or shameful so be direct and matter-of-fact when you speak.

Thirdly, set boundaries. Addicted gamblers become glib liars and are very persuasive. Don’t give cash advances. Take action to protect your company’s assets and limit or deny your employee access to them. Limiting funds can be a useful tool motivating them to get help as emotional issues surface.

It’s important to remember that 75% of those who seek treatment recover from their addiction.