With so much of the day spent at work, you would expect feeling safe in the workplace is a given, but companies often fall short. In fact, recent data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that one in seven Americans do not feel safe at work.
Is that feeling justified?
Maybe. Almost 50% of HR professionals reported at least one incident of workplace violence to some degree, an increase from 36% in 2012. And of those who reported experiencing workplace violence, over half said their organization had experienced an incident in the last year.
How can we empower employees?
One of the factors driving this fear is that people are unprepared regarding what to do in the case of a workplace violence incident. Training workers on response protocol can increase their confidence and prevent them from inadvertently interfering with security teams.
Take control of the workplace.
Make it tougher for violence to occur in the first place. A safe and comfortable workplace can improve retention and productivity as well as your employment brand.
What is workplace violence?
People commonly focus on extremes such as shootings or physical threats, but much lower levels of concern can make people feel unsafe, such as poorly lit parking lots, verbally abusive employees or concerns about building security.
How should employers respond?
As an employer, it’s up to you to provide a workplace where your employees can feel calm and confident on the job. The best approach is at three-pronged one that includes prevention, training, and response.
Prevention. Several factors go into preventing workplace violence including building design, early detection of at-risk employees and a comprehensive security system that can include cameras, egress control or guards. A thorough security assessment is a good place to start, as well as establishing an emergency response plan.
Training. One of the primary causes of stress and fear is lack of control. Take the time to teach your employees what to expect and how to respond in a variety of scenarios. You probably have safety training and fire drills; this is just one more aspect of the same preparation.
Response. While violent incidents are ideally prevented, the manner in which you respond to them is key to moving forward with confidence. Take safety concerns seriously when employees approach you with them. Reevaluate your security on a regular basis.
Need additional advice on making your team feel safe?
Trust the experts at BOS Security. We help keep commercial and residential buildings secure 24/7/365. If you would like more information on keeping your building and people safe and secure, contact us at 404-793-6965.