Should You Be Worried About Workplace Violence?
As more and more businesses are opening after the pandemic, employers are dealing with a different set circumstances since March of 2020. Offices may be half occupied while others are back to normal business hours. Employees may be working a hybrid of in-person and remote placement. Other employees may be back in the office, but feeling concerned about health and safety risks.
The unfortunate reality is that workplace violence is still an issue that employers must contend with. In fact, there may be reason to believe that these incidents could occur more frequently in our current social and political climate. Employers and employees as well as customers want to feel safe and secure while doing business with you.
Workplace violence can happen at any time and take on many forms. From verbal threats and bullying to physical attacks and shootings, workplace violence can put people and the reputation of your business at risk. Why does violence in the workplace occur? What can businesses do to prevent it?
Why Does Violence Occur in the Workplace?
Retail establishments, schools, movie theaters and office buildings can all be targets for violence. Very often, the perpetrator is a disgruntled employee or ex-employee or even the relative of an employee. These attacks can also be completely random and meant to send a particular political or social message. Other violence can be a result of mental illness.
Companies sometimes fail to be proactive against the potential for violence in the workplace. Many think that things like this cannot possibly happen at their business. But, businesses who fail to perform comprehensive background checks or provide an outlet for employees to voice their concerns, can become unexpected victims.
How Can Businesses Prevent Workplace Violence
The first thing a business owner or operator can do is acknowledge that their business could be at risk for violence. This step can be a challenge for many business owners who can’t imagine violence occurring at their worksites. Being prepared for a variety of scenarios can mean the difference between an average day at work and a tragedy.
Conduct Employee Background Checks
Despite the time and expense, it is necessary today to perform a background check on your employees. Failing to contact references and perform a scan for previous criminal offenses can leave your business vulnerable and your employees and customers in an unsafe situation. In addition to standard background checks, speaking with previous employers can give you great insight into how this employee conducts themselves in the workplace.
Enact Professional Termination Procedures
Terminations of any kind can be highly stressful, not only for the employee being terminated but for the rest of your staff as well. Employees who have been with the company for a significant amount of time may feel deeply connected to your business and will not take being fired lightly.
As an employer, you must be prepared when terminating employees. There are plenty of policies that can be put in place to ensure that employees are treated respectfully and therefore, less likely to retaliate in any way. Work with your human resources department to identify best practices for your industry.
Listen to Your Employees
Your employees are your greatest source of information when it comes to the health of your business. Oftentimes, your staff are the ones who see what's working and what's not working, and they usually have solutions that you may not even think of. Because of this inside knowledge, your employees should be provided with easy avenues to report suspicious behavior or conduct they feel is against business protocol. You should make sure you have systems in place so that, if employees feel that they are being treated poorly, they have an outlet to report it without the fear of retaliation.
Hire Security Guards
One of the most effective ways of protecting your business from workplace violence is having professional, reliable security guards on the premises. There are a wide variety of reasons why violence might occur in the workplace. By having a team of trained personnel on site to handle your security, you can ensure that you are ready to handle any situation that comes your way.
If you are a business owner or operator who hasn't yet addressed the potential for workplace violence at their place of business, contact the security professionals at Off Duty Officers today. Our team of highly skilled guards can ensure your safety, and that of your customers and employees, by working with you to develop a customized security solution.
When you need security personnel who aim higher
Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.
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