A recent survey found that over half of Americans are worried about workplace violence. It's a scary thought, and yet it's an increasingly acute reality. Here are the top five ways employers can reduce the risk of workplace violence.
What is Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence can happen in many ways. It may involve an employee who is having a bad day and starts yelling at a coworker. It may be an angry customer or client who becomes volatile at a manager in front of other customers. One of the most common forms of workplace violence is targeted harassment that escalates to serious threats and leads to physical confrontation. No matter the form, it's important that employers take the first step to prevent workplace violence from happening.
How Employers Can Reduce the Risk of Workplace Violence
Employers can reduce the risk of workplace violence by following a few simple steps. They should make sure that employees are aware of the company's policy on violence prevention and that the company has a workplace violence prevention plan. Employers should also provide employees with appropriate levels of mental health care and establish a mechanism for employee grievances.
1. Conduct Proper Pre-Employment Screening and Background Checks
One of the most important ways to reduce the risk of workplace violence is to properly screen potential employees. Pre-employment screening is cost-effective and can identify people with a history of violence or other behavioral issues that may lead to an incident of workplace violence. A thorough background check can reveal information that may affect an applicant's suitability for a given position, such as past convictions and history of drug abuse. Screening applicants can help employers not only find the best qualified candidates, but also prevent them from hiring ex-offenders or those with a history of violent behavior.
2. Implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
Employers should implement a workplace safety policy to prevent harassment. This includes any threats of violence, stalking, or other types of harassment. Employees are often harassed by coworkers or supervisors and it is important that the employer have policies in place to protect everyone from these types of behaviors. Employers should not only make sure employees follow the policies, but should also review the safety policies on a regular basis and update them if needed. To create a positive work culture, employers should involve their employees in the process of shaping these policies so that they feel like they have some say in what goes on where they work.
3. Create a Training Program that Focuses on Violence Prevention
Employers should provide appropriate training for management and supervisors on how to recognize the signs of violence and how to prevent it. Most companies have some type of Employee Training Program, but only a few focus on preventing workplace violence. A good plan will include information about how to recognize people who are at risk of committing violence and how to prevent it from happening. Employees should also be warned about bullying, harassment, and other disrespectful behavior which can often lead to violence.
4. Establish a Safe Process to Report Potential Threats
Another way to reduce workplace violence is for employers to listen to their employees and make sure that they are able to voice their concerns without fear of retribution. Employers should provide a safe process for employees to report harassment or potential threats. Employers are encouraged to create a reporting system so that employees can anonymously report unsafe conditions or potentially violent behavior to management. If an employee feels unsafe, they can work with the company to resolve the issue and remove themselves from the situation. The employer should fully investigate these complaints and take appropriate action such as removing the offender from the workplace while they conduct interviews to find out what happened.
5. Hire Professional Security Personnel
It's important for employers to make sure that they hire security personnel. These are people who are trained and experienced in stopping workplace violence before it starts. Security personnel can also be taught how to de-escalate dangerous situations if they arise.
These 5 ways to reduce the risk of workplace violence are just a few of the many steps employers can take to minimize the chance that their employees will be a victim of violence. Employers should also provide quality training and education to their staff, as well as monitor employer-employee interactions. The most important step that all employers can take is ensuring that every worker feels safe and respected at work, which provides an optimal environment for everyone to succeed.
CIC Pre-Employment Screening and Security Management
A CIC qualified security expert will help you develop a workplace violence prevention program that is in line with current best practices. They will also work with you and your team to integrate the program into your on-going efforts for safety and security.
To prevent workplace threats, you should perform employment background checks on potential hires. CIC screening specialists will work with you to conduct thorough background checks and establish a drug testing policy to ensure the best candidates are hired and employees conduct themselves professionally in the workplace.
For more information about this article, or general Security Management, please contact us at 1.800.573.2201 / 419.874.2201.