Archive for April, 2016

Workplace Violence Training Should be a Compliance Matter

April 26th, 2016 Comments off

Companies should be coming to the realization that a workplace violence prevention and response policy is a necessity today. It should be treated as a compliance matter even though it is not an official one like ethics or anti-corruption. This applies to both small and large companies.

It is not good enough to just have a workplace violence prevention plan that only the crisis management team, managers, and supervisors are aware of. Every employee should be trained in the fundamental concepts of the plan, not the least of which is aggressive behavior recognition. Everyone must understand that in order for the workplace violence prevention plan to work, all employees should be required to know the warning signs of what might be precursors to violence. Furthermore, they have the responsibility to report the conduct or observation.

Workplace violence in its defined form includes:

  • Violent crimes which occur in the workplace
  • Violence from a client or customer directed at an employee in the workplace
  • Aggressive behavior or bullying from one employee to another
  • Violence from former employees returning to the workplace or acting out after termination
  • Domestic relationship based violence happening at the workplace

Regardless of the nature of the incident, you are trying to prevent having these conditions go unchecked. Circumstances for potential violence are most often seen by the employees and not by supervisors or managers. All employees have to be taught how to recognize the early warning signs of aggressive behavior and to whom they should report those observations and concerns. The people who know what is going on daily are the ones who will most likely be negatively affected by it. They are the individuals in the best position to avert this behavior in its early stages. Reporting the conduct so that measures can be taken to modify the behavior is the only chance of preventing a violent incident. These employees know who is having domestic partner problems. They know who is being bullied at work. They know the habitually difficult customers. They usually know where the company is most exposed to potential crime within the workplace. Tap that resource. Let them know that they have a discrete reporting responsibility.

Furthermore, supervisors and managers must follow through and investigate when conditions are reported to them. The employees are the eyes and ears of the workplace and know what is going on.

For more about workplace violence prevention strategies and help with educating managers, supervisors, and employees, check out the educational programs at


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