Violence is a threat in any place. The news, for instance, has been reporting domestic violence almost everyday. We also have a number of incidents regarding violence at school involving students. And there are also some reports of violence happening in the workplace.
The employers and the employees should work hand-in-hand to prevent violence in the workplace. A simple warning and corresponding punishment will not be as effective as dealing with the signs, symptoms, and actual violence incident. To most employers, it is the job of the police.
But shared responsibility of management and employees should be exercised in order to address and prevent violence at work. Besides, who would want violence to happen near his cubicle or place of work? You have work to deal with and you don’t want to be burdened by violence. Just like an emergency response team, the company should have a violence prevention and response team composed of employees who will report incidents and signs to management for proper and appropriate action.
So how do we prevent violence from happening in the workplace? Here are some tips and advice to prevent such cases from happening in your company.
Prevent violence from entering the company. This is not just to check on people entering and leaving the work premises. This is also in reference to new hires. The HR department should check on every applicant’s background on reported violent incidents of the applicant. Most of the time, the applicant would hide his police record for fear of not getting the job. So it is the job of the HR personnel to have a background investigation to make sure that the new hire will not be a threat to other employees.
Conduct a random screening and testing for employees. You can do this outside the annual physical exam as a surprise to really catch employees abusing prohibited substances. If tested positive, employees should undergo rehabilitation for corrective measures. At this point it is not necessary to fire the employee if he has not done any harm to the company.
Keep communication lines open. Encourage employees to report any signs of threat from co-employees. Signs of threat could include verbal or written assault from co-employee, sexual remarks to opposite sex, and so on. These signs will eventually lead to violence at the workplace, so prevention is better than a response. Make sure that employees know who to contact to report such behavior to.
Prevention of violence at work is a continuous endeavor of both employers and employees. Everyone’s participation will ensure that such a threat will not happen in your workplace and thus productivity will not suffer among employees. Once a threat has been identified, and if unfortunately, violence did occurred in your workplace, the company should contact the local authorities regarding situations they can no longer handle or they can no longer control.