Sadly, we live in a world where we have to talk about workplace violence, because not doing so would be irresponsible.
It is important to note that workplace violence doesn’t just mean the most extreme example: An active shooter situation. Bullying and intimidation are forms of workplace violence that can cause significant psychological and mental damage. These forms also have an impact on things like employee morale and turnover.
It is in everyone’s best interest to stamp out workplace violence wherever it may appear. The following is a short list of suggestions on how you can help prevent violence at your place of business.
Establish a Supportive and Engaging Environment
Company leaders need employees to feel comfortable in bringing up incidents and concerns. If employees don’t feel like their voice is heard or don’t trust leadership to handle issues properly, they are much less likely to respond appropriately to issues of workplace violence.
Establish a Zero-Tolerance Policy
A zero-tolerance policy on bullying, intimidation or other lesser forms of workplace violence sets expectations for good behavior. Using input from employees, this policy should include procedures on how incidents of bullying will be handled.
Support Awareness and Sensitivity
Workplace violence often happens due to the breakdown of a company’s social fabric. When people are made to feel lesser because they are different, the situation can quickly turn violent.
Help staff members to recognize the value of diversity, that the differences among people in your organization are strengths. Team-building activities can help your employees get to know each other better are remove some unintentional barriers.
Provide Thorough Training
Educate staff members on what hostility between workers looks like, and what actions they can take to calm situations before they escalate. For example, walking away from a situation and reporting concerns management should be encouraged.
To prepare for the worst situations, hold training sessions that deal with violent intruders. These training sessions must to include both emergency response actions and preparedness measures.
Establish an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
An EAP is designed to offer discreet, professional counseling to staff members dealing with various personal issues, like mental conditions and domestic situations. Promote this program and work to eliminate any negative stigmas around using it.
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