6 Warning Signs of Workplace Violence
If you watch the news, you probably have seen sensational incidents involving workplace violence throughout the country. You may think that these situations are rare, or that they would never happen in your workplace. The reality is that workplace violence happens all the time and across all industries. Workplace violence does not just refer to active shooter situations like those we hear about on TV. It can also include verbal harassment and even threats of harassment or violence. And the sad fact is that many of these events go unreported.
For owners and managers of a business, the security of their employees is the number one priority. There are certain employee behaviors that managers can look for to identify disgruntled staff members and mitigate the situation before violence occurs. Although the following behaviors may be common warning signs, it is essential to know that not all of the signs may be present, and others may be present to a small degree. As a manager or business owner, it is critical to take the behaviors in context while still proactively identifying potential risk factors to keep your personnel safe.
6 Warning Signs of Workplace Violence
Negative Changes in Behavior
An early warning sign of potential violence is a negative change in behavior. This may happen slowly over time or abruptly. A normally social employee may begin to isolate himself. A typically conscientious worker may suddenly become distracted and unproductive. A usually easygoing person may begin to display signs of agitation, anger or frustration.
A manager who notices these changes in behavior should take note and monitor the situation to ensure that they can intervene as early as needed.
Sense of Hopelessness
Employees that voice feelings of hopelessness, lack of control or powerlessness may be showing early signs of aggressive behavior. These thoughts may not always relate to something happening in the workplace, but very often involve personal situations happening at home or in their communities. When someone feels a lack of control to a high degree, they may take potentially aggressive actions to regain a sense of power.
Passive Aggressive Actions
Passive aggressive behavior may be an indicator that an employee is agitated. This behavior may take the form of complaining to fellow coworkers, starting rumors about the company or posting negative thoughts about the company or coworkers on social media sites. These behaviors may start off small and be easy to brush off. However, these kinds of actions can be indications that an employee is beginning to exhibit aggressive behavior.
The words people say can have great meaning. A verbal threat to a manager or coworker isn’t just always empty words. Vague threats can very often indicate actual future aggression. Any kind of verbal threat by an employee in the workplace should be reported to a manager with the appropriate action taken immediately.
Excessive Absences or Tardiness
Unexplained increases in absences and regular instances of tardiness or leaving early from work could be an indication that the employee is disgruntled or agitated in some way. If this behavior comes out of the blue, managers should take action to understand the reason behind the issue. Hopefully, it is one that can be resolved relatively easily, without the risk of potential harm to staff.
Interest in Weapons
Another common warning sign of a potential workplace violence situation is a new or increasing fascination with weapons. It is not uncommon for an assailant to have demonstrated an increased interest in weapons like firearms, bombs or knives in the period of time before a workplace violence incident occurs.
Workplace Violence is a Serious Threat
The ability to recognize the warning signs of a potentially disgruntled or violent employee is one of the first steps managers and business owners can take in protecting their personnel. However, in the unfortunate event of a threat, many businesses benefit from the presence of armed or unarmed security guards. Professional guards are specially trained to recognize the warning signs of violence and have the skills to mitigate and handle a threat as it occurs.
Off Duty Officers has been supplying high-level security guards for businesses across the country since 1993. If you are looking to protect your business from workplace violence threats, contact the security specialists at Off Duty Officers for a quote today. Our team will help you determine the best security solutions that fit your business and budget.
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