How to Prevent Workplace Violence?
It seems like workplace violence cannot occur in the modern world when every business owner talks about workplace ethics and employee protection, but it sadly still exists. There are intense arguments between employees turning into harmful situations or customers committing violence against a company because of late delivery. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, almost 21 000 workers experienced violence in the workplaces in 2019.
The incidents are not connected to any specific work sphere as they spread into various business structures, impacting their performance and overall growth in the market. They include physical violence, verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation, and so on. Unfortunately, workplace violence is not limited to employees, affecting clients, visitors, or customers.
Seeing the statistics and knowing how to prevent workplace violence is necessary for every employee, business owner, and prospective worker. If you own a company or organization, you can develop ways, programs, or effective planning to stop such violent acts or make sure they never happen. We have outlined some ways that may be helpful to include when you are developing the workplace violence prevention program.
6 Steps you Can Take to Prevent Workplace Violence in your Company
To ensure its employees are safe and protected in the workplace, a company can implement various prevention strategies to avoid workplace violence and help the business environment function smoothly. The company can direct and control the overall working environment and create a safe working culture. There is only a small list of steps you can take.
1. Conduct Thorough Background Checks on New Hires
The first step in preventing workplace violence is to hire the right people. Your company needs to have a comprehensive background check on potential workers so you can uncover if they have any violent history. Just double-check every single detail, whether the person was caught in harassment or second-degree assault. You have the right to reject the employment offer if they have just been convicted of a violent crime to avoid your company’s conduct.
2. Develop a Harassment Prevention Policy
Harassment, such as through bullying or unsettling behavior, is considered the most common and intimidating form of violence that negatively impacts mental and physical health. To avoid it, your company needs to construct a harassment prevention strategy to avoid the occurrence of violence. The policy should provide a set of processes for dealing with workplace concerns in a timely and confidential manner according to government laws. Your company needs to ensure that all the employees are informed and are acting according to it.
3. Establish a Strong Channel of Communication
Communication is considered the key to unlocking various potential risk factors. Hence, your company needs to streamline its communication network so that your valuable employees have easy access to it. Your company, including your management, HR department, and other potential workers, must maintain a solid bond to create a peaceful environment where their complaints are heard and addressed appropriately.
4. Conduct a Training and Awareness Campaign
Your company needs to conduct training sessions and various awareness campaigns related to workplace violence prevention. In such a session or campaign, you have to tell your employees how to respond to a violent act so that they are prepared to respond if any crisis arises. Just guide them and prepare them under the light of the laws implemented by the government.
5. Strengthen your Monitoring System
Often, violence at the workplace is caused by some of the visitors, partners, or customers. Your company needs to be vigilant in monitoring the suspicious activities of the visitors to prevent acts of violence.
6. Monitor Violent Online Activities.
Well, it has been observed that most criminal or violent activities such as robbery, theft, harassment, or abuse are conducted online in the workplace. Hence, your company needs to build a strong system or software to prevent online violent acts or cybercrime and ensure that every worker is safe within the organization’s environment.
- Encourage your employees to accept personal differences.
- Teach them to identify an act of violence or threat promptly.
- Report any organizational risk factors such as stress, domestic aggression, or intolerance, etc.
- Investigate thoroughly before reporting any incident of violence.
- Maintain a healthy and safe working environment.
Employees’ Role in Workplace Violence Prevention
If you are an employee and do not own a business, you should remember that you still influence workplace violence prevention. Being a responsible employer, an organization is legally and ethically obligated to maintain a secure working environment free from threats and violence. However, employees are the primary force for designing various factors, such as culture, ethics, aims, and policies. Even though the company sets the basis of the working environment, employees have to act according to the company culture and make sure that they support and respect their co-workers. The employee should comply with the below-mentioned rules:
- You have to ultimately adopt every policy implemented by an organization on the prevention of violence in the workplace.
- You should develop a process among your teammates to report any threats or violent acts.
- If you are in an influential position, you should make sure that the people you are responsible for trust you enough to communicate the troubles they encounter.
- Be a prompt respondent in the case of dangerous acts such as harassment, threats, or verbal abuse.
- Remember, you need to monitor your surroundings, identify any violent incident, and confront it promptly.
The statistics show that violence in the workplace exists. We should address it as business owners or employees. The company needs to plan and implement for securing its environment from any violence. On the other side, employees can play an active role in preventing harmful acts of violence in the workplace by acting according to the respectful and safe plan created by the owners. Only by recognizing our responsibility can we make sure that workplace violence incidents will never happen again.