- Set the Proper Tone – Developing an organization that is resilient to acts of violence starts with a commitment from senior management; sustaining the prevention efforts requires active participation on their part.
- Assess the Vulnerability of Your Workplace – It’s important to understand the unique challenges that your organization faces. The type of work, facility, neighborhood, customers, existing security measures and current policies and procedures are some of the things that should be reviewed. There are a lot of assessment tools, but at the most basic level simply ask yourself, “how or why would somebody be able to commit an act of violence here and what can we do to help reduce the chances?”
- Address Your Findings – Once you have completed the assessment started addressing them by focusing on the items that will give you the greatest benefit for the lowest effort. A multi-discipline team (HR, Security, Legal, Facilities, Law Enforcement) can be extremely effective in this area.
- Open Communication – Workplace violence, at a basic level, is simply another inappropriate workplace behavior. It is likely that your organization already has proactive human resources or safety programs. Leverage these programs and management teams to ensure that workplace violence programs can be sustained. Let your employees know that it’s OK from them to talk to each other about their concerns. Encourage your employees to Speak up, Speak Clearly and Speak Often. Remind your managers and supervisors that they are required to bring staff concerns forward.
- Training – Provide training to your staff on how to recognize the warning signs for people who may be heading down a path towards violence. Make sure they know how to report their concerns and that their concerns will be taken seriously.
- Trust Your Intuition – Above all else and at every level of the organization it’s important to trust your intuition. All too often information is discovered after an incident that if it had been brought forward, may have prevented the violence from occurring.
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