In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about potential workplace violence. However, modern circumstances have shown that it is better to be prepared for any situation instead of just hoping it won’t happen. Below are tips from G&A experts about what to do when faced with potential violence in your workplace.
Implementing a zero-tolerance policy
One tip from our webinar on workplace violence is to set a zero-tolerance policy for any type of possible violence. This helps your business define what is acceptable conduct and what is not; clarify the reporting process when events happen; define how investigations will take place; and, makes a strong statement on what the consequences will be for violations and against retaliation.
Offer an employee assistance program
An employee assistance program (EAP) can help employees with potential problems before they become bigger issues. Workers who become violent often do so because of stressors in their personal life that build into unacceptable behaviors. EAPs can include counseling services, legal advice, and direction for where the employee can find help when needed. Related strategies include planning ahead and addressing problems before they escalate.
Identify and prevent bullying behaviors
Malicious rumors, workplace sabotage, nonstop criticism, raised voices, insults and more can lead to actual threats of violence. Addressing these types of behaviors head-on with clear policies and proper training can help prevent minor aggressions from turning into more violent behavior. Click here to learn more about creating a bully-proof workplace.
Other tips to keep in mind are to create emergency action plans for every kind of emergency, including workplace violence. Make sure your reporting system is solid and prevents a backlash against the person making the report. Don’t just lay out a policy – hold training about the policies and run practice drills for each of the scenarios. If you don’t know how to develop a workplace safety program, click here for a quick how-to guide.