Are you ready to safeguard your company against the threat of workplace violence? Close to half of human resources professionals in the U.S. say that their organizations have been impacted by workplace violence, and yet more than half of American workers agree that their employers haven’t taken appropriate steps to keep them safe on the job. When we consider that one in four incidents of workplace violence goes unreported, the picture painted becomes yet bleaker. But happily, you can break free of these statistics and lead the curve by combatting workplace violence with a simple but comprehensive strategy.

Being able to mitigate workplace violence begins with a clear understanding of the dangers, a smart assessment of your unique company’s needs, and a savvy management plan to ensure you never get caught off guard. With that in mind, today we’re going to cover the main thinking points to consider when designing a business workplace violence policy, from human resource oversight to regular corporate culture investigations. So let’s get you set up to keep your brand and employees protected.

What Is Workplace Violence?

Many employers mistakenly imagine that their responsibilities surrounding workplace violence only begin with physical harm, but that is not the case. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults, directed toward people at work or on duty. 

This means that workplace bullying, discrimination, harassment, and threatening behavior can all fall under the umbrella of workplace violence just as readily as physical assault or an active shooter. Perpetrators may be employers, employees, associates, customers, or clients—but they may just as well be any peripheral outsider whose negative actions spill into the working environment.

Establishing a Violence Prevention Plan

When it comes to establishing a workplace violence prevention plan, no two businesses are the same, and each will need to create a customized strategy. In most instances, expert guidance can be invaluable in tackling each area required to keep your employees safe. For example, outsourcing detailed background checks can prevent those with a history of violent or abusive behavior from making it into your team, while periodic corporate culture audits can ensure that bullying or harassment isn’t taking place right under your nose.

Crucially, first and foremost, you want to make your company a hard target for those inclined towards workplace violence. In this area, a violence and threat assessment combined with a zero-tolerance policy is a great place to start. Next, you want to confirm that your teams are trained and prepared for any danger, knowing to look for signs of threatening, sabotaging, or destructive behavior, thus minimizing possible damage or injury. Not only will these endeavors reflect your strong stance on corporate culture importance, but they may well protect your enterprise against potential litigation—or even possible loss of life.

Putting a Response Strategy in Place

Alongside honing on-site security, recruitment strategies, and ongoing policy training, it is also essential to be ever-ready. Key to this is encouraging reporting throughout every level of your enterprise, with an open-door policy for better human resources oversight and, for larger businesses in particular, potentially a tip line. With that mechanism in place, every reported incident—no matter how minor—must be responded to. Workplace investigations should be scaled depending on the seriousness of the matter at hand, thoroughly documented, and reported as company policy and the law dictates. Inaction can result in both peril and liability.
Would you like assistance with sculpting a tailored workplace violence strategy for your business? The corporate team here at Lauth Investigations International are seasoned experts in averting dangers in the workplace so that businesses can thrive at their truest potential. If you’d like to learn more about background checks, corporate culture audits, violence and threat assessments, and countless other forms of workplace investigations services that we provide, reach out to our team today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.