Workplace stalking is a growing issue, with 25% of stalking victims saying they met their stalker at work. It’s easy for people to stalk a coworker because they know where the victim is during working hours and often have access to their personal information. They may even be aided by other workers who don’t understand that the attention is unwelcome.
Employees can also be stalked by customers of the organization because they know how to find them. It can be even tougher for the victim to get help from managers in this case because the company may be afraid of offending the customer and losing their business.
Workplace stalking behaviors can include:
- Accessing victim’s personal information
- Staring at the victim
- Taking or leaving items in the victim’s workspace
- Monitoring the victim’s location electronically or in person
- Making unusual efforts to be close to or touch the victim
Impact of Workplace Stalking
Workplace stalking victims are often distracted, stressed, and upset by the unwanted attention. This can result in absenteeism and reduced productivity. The stalking itself can impact the victim’s performance because they may be receiving phone calls, emails, etc., from the stalker. Victims may be afraid to come to work or may need time off for legal or health matters. Half of stalking victims report missing time or even quitting entirely to avoid the stalker. This is why a stalking and harassment policy is essential to your business and your employees.
Stalking Can Escalate To Workplace Violence
According to a study in the Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association, 44 percent of stalking incidents result in workplace violence. Be sure that all security officers are provided with the name and description of the stalker take the threat seriously. Don’t hesitate to call the police if a stalker persists or escalates their behavior. If there is a restraining order in place, inform law enforcement if the stalker turns up at your business.
How Can Workplace Stalking Be Prevented?
Make your workplace a safe space by eliminating whatever potential threats you can, such as poorly lit areas, overgrown shrubbery, or unsecured egress points. Creating a safe environment with measures like the following:
- Monitor entrances with a security officer or video
- Install security cameras in strategic areas
- Allow flexible work hours so victims can avoid their stalker
- Instruct employees not to give out information about coworkers
- Provide training and information on stalking and harassment
- Train managers on properly addressing stalking allegations
- Have security walk the victim to and from their car.
How Can Security Prevent or Respond to Stalking in the Workplace?
By combining onsite security officers with remotely monitored security cameras, businesses can help keep their employees safer on the job. BOS provides a range of security options designed to give you and your employees peace of mind. Contact BOS Security at 404-793-6965 to get started. We can help you develop and implement a workplace security plan to keep your employees safe and productive.