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Chapter 14. Worry About the Other Shoe D... > Preventative Steps for All Workplace... - Pg. 149

Worry About the Other Shoe Dropping-- Violence 149 You don't need to be a psychologist or pry into the personal affairs of someone to identify changes in work behavior or actions on the job. However, managers who are detached or uninvolved with employees may miss the signs. Get to know your employees. It's worthwhile. Preventative Steps for All Workplace Violence Now it's time to look at actions you and your company can take to reduce the possibility of violence and reduce personal injury if it occurs. Corporate Initiatives Have a policy on workplace conduct that specifies what kinds of interpersonal behavior are inap- propriate. Such a policy should include things like verbal abuse and sexual harassment. Keep it simple, short, and readable. The policy should spell out the consequences of unacceptable behavior and procedures to lodge a complaint. Then each manager should be responsible for ensuring that employees understand it and for enforcing it. Insider Secrets Corporate initiatives to improve safety have some pleasant side effects besides improving safety. Policies and support show the company cares about its employees. They also help reduce stress and uncertainty in difficult situations by providing clear instructions about how such situations should be handled. Have a workplace-violence action plan. Most companies have procedures mapped out in the event of a fire. Now companies need the same thing for a workplace-violence incident. Such a plan can include who to contact and under what circumstances legal authorities should be contacted. It should address the use of "panic buttons"(call buttons) if they are available. It should specify what people should do if they're threatened or attacked. The best way to design such a plan is to involve the experts, usually law-enforcement professionals. Many police forces have officers who will help you get this done. From the Manager's Desk Law-enforcement officials in your area may be willing to design an action plan to guide you if workplace violence occurs. If that option is not available, there are private security firms that can come in. Get an expert to help.