If yours is one of the countless businesses across the United States who wasn’t prepared to deal with workplace violence and got caught out, you’re sadly—but certainly—not alone. Statistics reveal that as many as 90% of organizations do not comply with federal OSHA reporting regulations and record-keeping in this area. Meanwhile, 55% of American employees report being unaware or unsure of their employer’s emergency preparedness plans.
Sure, many businesses skate along relatively unscathed by this oversight. That is, until an unforeseen sequence of events brings it into shocking focus. If you have recently become aware of workplace violence or threatening behavior going unchecked on your watch, then this article is for you. As an employer, you can’t correct any past lack of readiness, but you can act responsibly today. Read on to discover the steps that you need to take next to prevent further damage, including human resource oversight, diligent investigations, corporate culture importance, and much more.
The Potential Cost of Being Blasé About Workplace Violence
If you’ve always imagined that worrying about things like workplace violence doesn’t need to be on your priority list, think again. Failing to take the issue seriously can result in a hefty price tag for American businesses. In fact, the average out-of-court settlement for workplace violence incidents runs at approximately $500,000, while a jury award settlement can painfully run into the millions. Yes, while you as an employer may not be the perpetrator, you can still be left with a business-sinking bill to settle.
Even on the lesser end of the spectrum, workplace violence on any scale can be a symptom of a toxic workplace culture that serves as a breeding ground for employee theft and even white-collar criminality. With abusive workplace behavior comes decreased productivity, employee absence, and runaway turnover. Business reputations can suffer, and ultimately lawsuits can ensue.
As an employer, you may find yourself held responsible for the actions of others as a respondent superior who failed to step in, under the terms of premises liability, or through negligence in hiring or retention. In immediate strides of damage mitigation, you can not only respond to present reports of threats or violence at work decisively, but you can also take immediate steps to rectify your state of preparedness for the future.
Damage Control for Threatening Behavior and Violence at Work
As someone with corporate or human resource oversight, you have a duty to develop an effective violence prevention policy and program and communicate it effectively to employees. This will include conducting accurate violence and threat assessments, incorporating threat screening into your recruitment policies, providing effective training to your leadership team, and having clear procedural guidelines in place to deal with both dangerous situations and their initiators.
To give an example, although 62% of companies view an active shooter as a top threat, around 79% report feeling unprepared for an incident of this kind. Resolution can be found in an expert threat and violence assessment from Lauth Investigations International.
In another instance, a leader may have allowed a toxic workplace culture to fester, only to see bullying escalate into violence. A swift and efficient corporate culture audit can quickly redress this imbalance, while comprehensive background checks can prevent the arrival of more bad actors in the future.
Do you need help with launching impartial workplace investigations following reports of threatening or violent behavior in the workplace? Would you like expert guidance on how to make your place of employment safe, secure, and robust against the threat of nefarious employees moving forwards? If so, the Lauth Investigations team is here and ready to assist. We support businesses across America every day in their quest for strong corporate culture and ultimate prosperity. Don’t let workplace violence derail your progress—instead, reach out to our team today.