Violence in the workplace is a sensitive topic. No one wants to talk about it, no one wants to believe it will happen to them, but sadly, it does. Prevention and education are keys to making our ‘home away from home’ a safer and less stressful place to be. AXIOM is proud to announce we have partnered with some very knowledgeable people on this subject and have posted this blog to show how the right training can prevent tragedy. Below is an example of a set of trainings that can help your workplace remain a comfortable and secure environment, courtesy of Steve Romano of Stephen J. Romano & Associates, LLC. Steve is a private consultant and trainer with more than 42 years in law enforcement and security, including local law enforcement, The United States Air Force, the FBI, and private security firms.
Violence in the Workplace
Prevention, Response & Recovery
Workplace violence, thought only to be perpetrated by disgruntled ex-employees who commit mass murder, is a much more pervasive phenomena. In the FBI report, “Workplace Violence: Issues in Response,” statistics have shown that mass murder on the job, while a media intensive event, is also relatively infrequent. “It is the threats, harassment, bullying, domestic violence, stalking, emotional abuse, intimidation and other forms of behavior and physical violence that, if left unchecked, may result in more serious violent behavior” that represents the core of the problem.
Corporate America is becoming increasingly concerned about their vulnerability to acts of workplace violence. The cost to employers is significant and can be measured in decreased productivity, increased worker compensation costs, legal and medical costs, lost work hours court costs and civil liability, and a tarnished public image. Employees can experience reduced wages due to injury, long term harmful health consequences, loss of morale and productivity, and increased levels of stress. Workplace violence consistently heads the list of concerns of security professionals. However, statistics show that more than half of companies and organizations do not have any viable workplace violence programs in place.
Fortunately, the majority of violent workplace violent acts are preceded by some type of warning signs. These signs, or behaviors of concern, may come in the form of mood changes, life stressors, verbal threats, or a past history of violence. Training is paramount to the success of a workplace violence prevention program. Training should be tiered to provide general awareness to all employees, more specialized training for supervisors, and a comprehensive overview of cost/benefits and industry best practices for senior management.
Senior management’s support is essential to an effective workplace violence prevention program. These attendees will be provided a thorough overview of workplace violence in all its forms along with the underlying causes. Components of an effective workplace violence prevention program and best practices will be discussed. Additionally, the value of creating a Threat Assessment / Management Team including its roles and responsibilities will also be covered during the session. “Duty of care” responsibilities to provide employees a safe and secure work environment, the potential for a negative impact on brand, reputation and productivity, and the likelihood of post critical incident litigation will also be highlighted. An active shooter response plan that identifies critical consequence management issues in dealing with law enforcement, media and victim families will also be addressed.
First line supervisors are the true “linchpins” of an effective workplace violence prevention program. They may find themselves in situations where they are overseeing at-risk employees and may even be the target of their anger. For these reasons it is paramount that they develop the skills to apply advanced warning sign detection and the ability to defuse a potentially volatile situation. These attendees will be provided an in-depth presentation on the full spectrum of behaviors that constitute workplace violence with an explanation of the differences between the myths and realities. Conditions that can lead to workplace violence and the behavioral characteristics of a potentially violent employee will be discussed. Special consideration will be given to the warning signs and triggers leading to violence. Intervention techniques from discipline to discharge with an emphasis on effective communication and crisis intervention skills will also be addressed. Additionally, attendees will be provided critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter incident.
-Article written by Stephen J. Romano and posted by AXIOM.