Pamela N Kaithuru and Asatsa Stephen
The significant presence of alcohol problems in the workforce has been a trending worry for most organizations in Kenya. Most employees are showing irregular work attendance, poor productivity, poor health and safety risks because of problems associated with alcoholism. This presents a cardinal challenge and a major threat for progressive economic development. This was a study to investigate the impacts of alcoholism in the workforce at the Kenya Meteorological Service (KMS). The objectives of the study included investigating the impacts of alcoholism on employees’ productivity of KMS employees based in Nairobi County. The study sought to establish the impact of alcoholism on social and financial costs of KMS employees based in Nairobi County. It also explored the impact of alcoholism on work relations of employees of KMS based in Nairobi County. The study analysed the impact of alcoholism on employees’ health and safety of KMS employees based in Nairobi County and investigated the interventions applied to curb alcoholism at KMS.The study collected data from amongst staff of Kenya Meteorological Services through Questionnaires and Interview Schedules. Data was processed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The findings were presented in form of chart. Some of the findings of the study indicated that about 33% of the respondents consume alcohol while 67% of the workforce does not take alcohol. The research indicates that alcohol has an effect on employees’ work rate and quality of work. About 49% of the respondents “strongly agree” that alcohol leads to reduced work rate and poor quality of work in the workforce. The research recommends that there is need to enact policies and measures that can control alcoholism in the workforce among KMS staff. It recommends the use of workplace alcohol policies such as a zero tolerance to alcohol staff code of discipline in regulating alcoholism. The research also recommends use of health promotion, employee assistance programs, counseling, and drug use control and sensitization workshops to curb alcoholism. The research indicates that there is a relationship between alcoholism and the workplace unproductivity, stress, hangovers, diseases and financial problems. It explains that there is a need to redress the problem of alcoholism in the workforce because it hampers organizational efficiency, employees’ health and safety, work relationship and increases social and financial costs.