Prevent Workplace Violence

How To Prevent Violence In The Workplace

Workplace violence is a major problem in the United States. People are hurt or killed every month by coworkers or patrons. While it is not as common of a problem as sexual harassment or discrimination, workplace violence is a preventable problem if certain measures are taken to keep workers safe. Follow these tips.

Create a harassment prevention policy. Each level of workers should be represented. Employees, managers and executives must all be informed about the policy. Be sure that complaints can be filed and will be addressed privately but quickly.

Create open lines of communication. Perpetrators are able to carry out their plans if they think that victims will be silent. If there are regular meetings of teams or the entire workforce, people have a chance to voice their concerns and relieve tensions. Encourage employees to talk to one another and managers about issues, and develop a strong resolution plan with clear steps.

Promote workplace violence awareness. One of the best ways to prevent violence is to train people what to do if there is an intruder or a disgruntled employee. Make an emergency management team and levels of communication that will facilitate help arriving quickly if there is a major issue.

Implement a zero-tolerance policy for improper workplace conduct. Be sure that every worker knows about the code of conduct. If workers display signs of violence toward each other, they should be terminated. Also, display signs that let intruders or disgruntled patrons know that the company has a zero-tolerance policy for violence or threatening behavior.

Promote acceptance in the workplace. Employees can benefit from diversity workshops that help them learn about differences in religion, ethnicity, age and other factors. Set up activities that help teams get acquainted and embrace their differences.

Keep conflicts from escalating to violence. Watch teams closely to see how they work together. In some instances, tensions arise and are not relieved properly. This means that the tensions only grow and may lead to violence. Conflict resolution should be encouraged and should be an effective process.

Recognize each worker’s individual value. Every worker should understand why his or her role is vital to the success of the company. Clearly portray this, and thank workers when they contribute. Many workers who become disgruntled and carry out violence do so because they are not appreciated or properly acknowledged for their contributions. Try to notice when workers go above and beyond. Also, be sure to treat workers equally and fairly at all times.

Set and communicate consequences of threatening behavior. Employees should clearly understand how to identify threatening behavior. They should also understand what constitutes unacceptable behavior and the consequences of it.

Encourage workers to report threatening or violent incidents. Reporting should be kept confidential to ensure that employees feel safe. Also, ensure that there is a zero-tolerance policy in place for retribution after a report. 

Reduce asset theft risks. Robbery is often a factor in workplace violence. Keep the amount of assets in the workplace to a minimum. To reduce the amount of available monetary assets, use electronic pay systems. Also, keep a locked safe on the premises for any amounts of cash or other important assets.

When employers have a solid plan in place to prevent workplace violence, workers are able to avoid becoming disgruntled and behaving unacceptably. They also know that there are channels for communicating openly and voicing concerns. To learn more about preventing violence in the workplace, contact an insurance agent.

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