Team Awareness is a workplace-training program that addresses behavioral risks associated with substance abuse among employees, their coworkers and, indirectly, their families. This program has been shown to increase employee help-seeking for and supervisor responsiveness to, troubled workers, enhance the work climate, and reduce problem drinking. These results are achieved by —
- Promoting social health
- Promoting increased communication between workers
- Improving knowledge and attitudes toward alcohol- and drug-related protective factors in the workplace (such as company policy or Employee Assistance Programs)
- Increasing peer referral behaviors
The training consists of six modules and is conducted across two 4-hour sessions with a company or business of any size. Larger companies generally require multiple training sessions. Team Awareness is highly interactive and uses group discussion, communication exercises, a board game, role play, and self-assessments. Modules cover policy ownership, enabling, stress management, listening skills, and peer referral.
Team Awareness is the first program to be recognized as a workplace-based Model Prevention program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The logic and content of Team Awareness were based on the IBR Workplace Project’s survey research of over 3,000 employees from three municipalities. Findings showed that employee tolerance for coworker substance use, attitudes toward discrete policy components, and work group drinking climates were each predictive of risk for substance use-related problems. Additional findings suggested that group cohesiveness and social integration at work might buffer against substance abuse risks. Team Awareness was developed in order to address both risk and protective factors identified in this survey research.
Recommended Citation: Bennett, J. B., Bartholomew, N. G., Reynolds, S., & Lehman, W. E. K. (2002). Team Awareness: Training for workplace substance abuse prevention. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University, Institute of Behavioral Research.