In the third event of Talent Resource Week, moderator Michael Veh, Deputy Director for Policy at the Lucas County Department of Planning and Development, introduced panelists Lee Daher, senior political lead for Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters; Charlotte Dymarkowski, president and CEO of Foundation Steel; and Scott Hayes, business development director of Toledo Refining Company.
The panelists voiced their positive histories with hiring employees in recovery from addiction. They expressed that, as long as employees are honest, open and working toward recovery, they feel confident hiring an employee with a past addiction. Still, the employer must remain open and supportive with the employee in turn.
“We’re all about coming alongside our employees. We all need second, third, fourth chances,” says Dymarkowski. “So, as long as somebody is honest with us about what they’re going through, we’re there to help them. We have helped point people in the right direction on where to go, but it doesn’t really stop there with us. We try to check in quite often.”
Ensuring employees know that their employer is there for them, not just as a boss but also as an avenue for support in their personal lives as well, can be key to successfully employing someone who has a history of addiction. And that support, Dymarkowski says, begins on day one for Foundation Steel employees.
“In our orientation, we actually address addiction. And any difficulty that they would have, they can feel free without recourse to come to me,” she says. “They can come to me and we will provide them with time off, help them find help, if it’s counseling they need, if they need to be in treatment, whatever that is, we’ll help them. If we can help them financially, we will. But the main thing is they’ll have a job when they come back and they’ll have support to help them stay on that road to recovery, and they won’t miss a beat as far as that goes.”
Dymarkowski, Hayes and Daher expressed similar feelings as panelists in Talent Resource Week’s REDI: Re-Entry Development Initiative session. When you offer a second, third or fourth chance to someone with a difficult history, they often repay their employer with loyalty, trust and gratitude – and those qualities can’t be bought.
“[Employees with a history of addiction] really look out for the best interests of those that they worked for and appreciated that second chance,” says Hayes. “Very rarely did we feel that we made a wrong decision in giving someone that chance.”
Hayes, Dymarkowski and Daher each expressed the importance of compassion and understanding for people who have a “peppered past.” To watch the full discussion and hear how the panelists navigate maintaining an open rapport with employees, supporting honesty in the workplace, giving second, third and fourth chances, and more, watch the recording of Talent Resource Week’s third session, Hiring Employees with Addictions, below: