Workplace violence is a good news/bad news story in the United States. The good news is that workplace violence has declined in the last decade as reported by Department of Justice statistics. The bad news, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), is that there are still nearly two million cases of workplace violence reported in the United States every year. The decline, we can hope, can be credited to better awareness among employers, especially human resources and corporate security practitioners, but we know there is still a lot of work to be done. This is where manager and employee training can play an important role.
The first and best step to reducing workplace violence is to confront the issue with training and consistent reinforcement so employees at every level are aware of the situations that can lead to violence. Actions like unfair treatment, bullying, and behavior by outsiders need to be recognized. (Did you know that the vast majority of violence incidents in retail environments are committed by strangers?)
Safe and Sound, Learning Dynamics’ workplace violence awareness and preparedness training, focuses on two key concepts: recognizing and responding. Through this training, managers and employees recognize behaviors that could lead to workplace violence if not promptly addressed. That’s where responding – appropriately and quickly – can literally become a life-saver.
Responding can include one or more of the following actions: calling 911; contacting security; engaging the help of human resources leadership; consulting with your company’s employee assistance program (EAP); using proven de-escalation techniques; and sometimes just documenting behavior.
Many employers have seen a bottom-line benefit to providing workplace violence avoidance training and services. A major communications company, for example, saw an immediate improvement in employee productivity when it provided support for employees dealing with domestic violence issues, something that can and has spilled into the workplace when perpetrators (“malicious intruders”) visit work sites and act on their anger.
Workplace violence is a risk employers need to recognize and mitigate. While training cannot ensure that violence will never happen, it can raise awareness and prepare people to act before tragedy strikes. Consider a training initiative now. Your employees and your corporate reputation will both benefit.
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Safe and Sound is Learning Dynamics’ workplace violence avoidance and preparedness training. Recently updated to address concerns in today’s workplace, it provides an engaging and awareness-raising opportunity for leaders and employees to address this important issue. Contact Learning Dynamics today to learn more.