The effects of alcohol and drug abuse on work performance of employees in selected star rated hotels at the Kenyan Coast
Waudo, Judith N.
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Alcohol and Drug abuse at the workplace poses a great challenge to the growth and 'development of the hospitality and tourism industry in Kenya. Presently, about 200 million people or 5 per cent of the world's population aged 15 to 64 use drugs. In Kenya it is estimated that 5,835,007 of the youth population abuse drugs. This study sought to assess the effects of drug abuse on work performance of employees in selected star rated hotels at the Kenyan Coast. The objectives of this study were to determine the extent to which drug abuse influences: workplace absenteeism, accidents and the level of job productivity among employees in the hotels. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. A random sample of 373 employees and 25 managers was drawn from 25 randomly selected hotels. Primary data were collected using a questionnaire, interview schedule and Focus Group Discussion. Secondary data were collected from documented information to supplement the primary data. Data were processed and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Quantitative analysis used descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of a computer programme - Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15. The study findings indicate that there was a significant relationship between the frequency of use of drugs and extent of absenteeism among employees (i = 28.00, P = 0.000 < 0.05). Consequently, drug abuse - related absenteeism due to lost man hours and labour days costs the employers Ksh. 8,100,000 per year. There was also a significant relationship between the frequency of use of drugs and frequency of accidents among employees (i = 18.619, P = 0.001 < 0.05). Forty point one percent respondents reported average accidents at the workplace as a result of alcohol and drug abuse. The results further revealed that the twenty five hotels spent Ksh. 1,250,000 on workman's compensation due to drug abuse -related accidents at the workplace per year. There was no significant relationship between the frequency of use of drugs and level of job productivity (i = 8.154, p = 0.086 > 0.05). From the fmdings of this study, it is concluded that alcohol and drug abuse impact negatively on the hotel employees in terms of direct and indirect costs. In view of this, the study recommends that there is need for the hospitality and tourism industry in liaison with stakeholders to institute stringent policy mechanisms and capacity development programmes to curb alcohol and drug abuse among hotel employees.