What is really going on with workplace violence and God forbid active shooter scenarios? There are no shortage of ideas and theories, but there are some simple facts that are not disputed. Workplace violence has its origins in the hearts and mind of people, people like you I. Workplace violence is more common when the culture promotes hostility, or strongly suppresses it under the pressure that has built for years, hence the term “going postal”. Winning the hearts and minds of our people, being aware of stress and pressure under the surface, and ready to respond when something or someone slips through the cracks is the key to preventing workplace violence and active shooter scenarios.
The first steps include employee screen and background checks, but we all know that these are not full proof, there must be a first incident for anyone. The same skills and tools we use for workforce stability will be critical here. Ensure as managers, owners, and operators you truly get to know your team members. Ensure they are comfortable sharing troubles and concerns that are hampering their ability to person, and ensure you are investing back into their training and development.
Development of a workplace violence response plan is going to be vital. The plan should highlight what you can do to stabilize the situation, communicate with employees, and transition into recovery mode. You may consider investing in armed security and/or select team members to deter someone who otherwise would seek to do harm. No doubt solutions such as these prevent their own risk, and they must be reviewed and proper continency plans and efforts developed to maximize the benefit. Programs are also available to provide support and assistance for employees struggling with mental health and struggles at home.
At the end of the day the key is going to be to winning the hearts and minds of your employees by building trust and security and being prepared for the worst.
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