Part 2 of our 6 part series where we explore some of the most common security risks and challenges executive leadership in organizations face and guidance on how to address them.
Today, workplace violence is a major concern for corporate executives. We have evolved from bullying and stalking (still major epidemics) to physical and weapon violence within the workplace. The risks have clearly been elevated. What causes these incidents is a point for serious discussion and disagreement. Some claim COVID had a serious impact on mental health. Others will argue about social media, while others still will argue violence in cyber games and television. Road rage is at an all-time high. Bail reform and the lack of consequences may play a part in it. On a side note, one must be asking, is anyone ever held accountable anymore?
But whatever the cause, the effect is the same. People are much more open to getting in your face, expressing their anger, and taking actions on feelings they once hid. Our personal space is being violated.
The consequences are devastating and can bring a company to the brink of bankruptcy. Employee safety, productivity and brand reputation are all at severe risk.
Much has been written on what to do during an actual WPV incident. What has had less coverage is what can be done to prevent the incident from occurring in the first place. I believe it is important to understand a person just doesn’t “snap”; there are multiple signs, if recognized, can help to avert the situation from occurring. Recognizing the issues and getting in front of them before it happens is the key to an effective response in limiting your risks and liabilities. Do you know the warning signs of potential violence in the workplace? We recently wrote a blog that outlines the behaviors associated with workplace violence.
Some of the top executive pain points related to workplace violence include:
- The workplace: What was once considered a secure environment, today’s workplace security is the primary responsibility and concern for leadership. Ensuring best practices are in place and having effective, current plans and procedures are a must, not only for physical violence, but also verbal abuse, harassment, and intimidation1. Awareness and training for the staff is critically important. We have a special “workplace violence” training program designed for not only what to do in an incident, but also explains the signs leading up to potential attacks. View our training library.
- Legal and financial liabilities: The standard leadership is held to is “knew” or “should have known” of a risk, then they have a legal obligation to take appropriate action. Failure to take immediate appropriate corrective action equals liability. Executives need to be aware of these risks and take steps to mitigate them2. Recently we conducted a webinar discussing these issues and created a “Behavior Assessment Tool” available when you sign in to see the free webinar. Get access now!
- Reputation and Brand: Often overlooked, personal family issues such as domestic violence cases are brought into the workplace and the potential for violence is ever increasing. Customer trust and loyalty can be at risk not just for physical violence, but also for perceived comments attributed to it on social media. Executives need to be proactive in addressing workplace violence and communicating their commitment to employee safety and well-being3.
- Productivity: If employees feel unsafe or potentially traumatized by threats, either actual or perceived, the productivity of the company can and will suffer. Today’s workforce is much more susceptible to emotional effects, and this must be realized by leadership regardless of whether you agree or disagree. Executives need to provide support and resources to employees who have been affected by workplace violence, and work to create a culture of safety and respect in the workplace4.
- “Workplace Violence – Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration.” OSHA, https://www.osha.gov/workplace-violence.
- “Workplace Violence – SHRM.” SHRM, https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/Pages/Workplace-Violence.aspx.
- “Leaders’ role in stopping workplace violence – American Nurse Journal.” American Nurse Journal, https://www.myamericannurse.com/leaders-role-in-stopping-workplace-violence/.
- “Workplace Violence Prevention – Occupational Safety and Health Administration.” OSHA, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Workplace%20Violence%20Prevention.pptx.
Is your business prepared to face today’s ever-evolving security risks? Learn how to identify and overcome critical threats with our previous blog post: Safeguard Your Business: Identifying & Overcoming Critical Security Risks (Part 1 of 6).
If you would like to discuss any of the pain points described above, we encourage you to call our office at 914-576-8706 to set up a free consultation session.
Don’t forget to subscribe to PCC Insights to get email notification when we post our next blog!2
Ready to Elevate Your Security Strategy?
Unlock the full potential of your security and risk management with our expert-guided STAR Power Sessions. Get personalized coaching tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Don’t leave your business vulnerable – Book Your STAR Power Session Now!