Because of the wide-ranging definitions of what is considered workplace violence, preventing such acts can be difficult, but not impossible. Workplace violence prevention planning is necessary to develop solutions for stopping these incidents from happening.
Here are four workplace violence prevention planning mistakes to avoid:
- Denial: It's human nature to not want to think about bad things, but that's something you can't afford to do when seeking to prevent workplace violence. Act on something as soon as it is reported.
- Hasty terminations: Simply put, firing someone as an initial was to deal with a problem employee may not fix the issue. In fact, it may make it worse. Take the time to think about the problem rather than acting rashly. Have coaching plans in place to try and help the employee. The end result may still lead to termination, but that should only come after all options have been exhausted.
- Default plans: As was stated above, many things can be considered workplace violence, so companies should not have one default plan to serve as a catch-all. Plans must be created to address specific issues, and should be constantly reassessed for their effectiveness.
- Insufficient training: A workplace violence policy should not be relayed via memo. Having resources available that employees can refer to is important, but employees have to be adequately trained to learn the intricacies of the policy and what they can do if they encounter the various situations it covers. A best practice would be to include the training as part of a new hire program, with mandatory training for existing employees given on an as-needed basis for any changes.
For comprehensive assistance in building a workplace violence prevention plan, consultants can develop a strategy that suits your operations.