Workplaces Are Vulnerable Havens Of Opportunity for Predators

Posted on: May 24th, 2015

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.

2 Responses

  1. On target, Sergeant Major! Hooah!

    • Felix says:

      Thank you Sir! My position on the topic of workplace violence prevention is that is part of an ongoing process involving multiple intervention strategies. Our job as consultants is to identify best solutions and not best practices in insuring the unique aspects of the workplaces are being addressed in mitigating risks and addressing potential threats. When the disgruntled person transitions to the active shooter (hostile intruder) it is too late to plan other than assessing and evaluating what protective measures to take to minimize risks. Workplace violence prevention is a mindset and not a security or police measure designed to address the immediate threat but a collaborative effort involving prevention strategies, leadership, proper supervision, reporting and most importantly, organizational commitment. I am happy to know that there are professionals like you in workplaces that actually understand the consequences and apply appropriate intervention strategies to avert escalation and minimize risks.

What are your thoughts?