REMINDER: Workplace Violence Prevention and Violence Response is a management commitment and investment that must roll downhill through responsible leadership and accountability. While the effort must be comprehensive it need not be complicated. A comprehensive methodology entails proactive, ongoing leadership responsibility that is part of an integrated, collaborated and coordinated effort organization-wide. The focus is always on PREVENTION in search of warning indicators and contributing factors. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE – PREVENTION.
The Fort Hood Shooting incident as an atypical workplace setting, demonstrates JUST how vulnerable our workplaces are and how at risk our workforce is. Prevention focuses on the human dimension as part of a rehabilitative process that hopefully never gets you to the extreme aggression of homicidal violence.
Many organizations are still not prepared physically, emotionally or mentally. They hide the real world potential of a coworker or loved one “going postal” by avoiding the problem when they should be treating employees like adults. They resort to expedient training solutions that point their fingers at the workforce as the problem. Preparing the workplace and workforce requires a collaborative effort often not found through the Internet but rather by word of mouth experiences.
Unprepared workers will not respond and react under certain at risk situations involving an armed intruder as they would to a fire alarm or other type of emergency evacuation. This requires specialized training. Responding to an armed intruder or active shooter is not the same as responding to a fire alarm. Reporting at risk employees requires their trust in management’s resolve to take immediate corrective action and protect the sources.
Preparing for the crisis should not be a consideration on the day of the event.
Workplace Violence Prevention and Violence Response includes a coordinated management effort that “synergizes” the plan into a practical set of procedures in dealing with routine matters, reporting, monitoring, tracking and follow up, threat assessment, incident management and referral in seeking the best outcome.
Training must involve all employees and leaders in aspects of workplace violence prevention and violence response only as part of a strategic plan.
Program management has to be a shared responsibility between HR and Security with all other leaders coordinating the effort with and through HR and Security. HR can continue being the policy manager while Security can be responsible for the security response in conjunction with other senior managers in leading and coordinating the effort.
Fort Hood can be a valued lesson learned. If it happened in a workplace setting where leadership operates from within the small unit team through a structured chain of command that is charged with personal attention to Soldier issues, you know how vulnerable our workplaces really are.