HR & Workplace Violence!
How Can Your
Human Resources Department
Ensure Your Organization's Safety in 2019?
The Human Resources and Security industries are beginning to intersect.
HR departments are facing a larger demand in recent times. This demand upon HR professionals has expanded far past what these departments were originally designed for.
All HR professionals could play a huge role in preventing workplace violence by recognizing potential threats, assessing and documenting certain situations, and having proper threat remediation processes.
Not all people are alike, and everyone acts differently.
With that being said, there are different types of behaviors that should be recognized in the workplace.
There are odd or unusual behaviors and potentially threatening behaviors. Odd or unusual actions seem untypical, but that does not mean they are threatening.
While on the other hand, threatening behaviors can demonstrate potential escalation in a situation.
There can be many different causes of threats within the HR workplace.
Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- not receiving a promotion/raise,
- reduction in benefits, hours, or pay,
- a change in work assignments,
- personal issues,
- and termination.
Aggressive, unpredictable, or substance abuse behaviors can be an indication that somebody has the potential to be a threat.
Aggressive behaviors have certain characteristics.
There may be an elevated voice, foul language, and change in tone or enunciation. Implied threats may occur which create the possibility of physical or non-physical hostile action. Actual threats are created when an individual creates the possibility of a threat with the ability of conducting the action.
Unpredictable behavior can be spotted if someone is changing their voice under stress or conflict, changing their dress or hygiene profile, having work attendance issues, or experiencing mood swings.
In some cases, substance abuse behavior can be very obvious to point out. Someone may have impairments at work and lead to underperformance of routine tasks.
They may be disconnected from work processes or work peers. In addition, they may have light sensitivity, adverse odor, or physical markings of abuse. The person’s eyes can also be a sign of substance abuse.
Termination of employees can often be contentious and require a ...
The physical location of termination should be considered carefully.
An employee facing a termination may be easily agitated and even subconscious factors can lead towards escalation. HR personnel should never place themselves in a location in which their exit is impeded. In addition to this, the terminated employee should have unimpeded access to an exit as well.
The HR department should consider if their termination space gives a constricted feeling. Bare office spaces with no windows or a boxed in feeling should be avoided. Windows, wall decor, and fish tanks or plants should be considered.
See example below of a positive environment for safest termination practices:
When your HR department faces potential hostile action from an individual you must consider whether or not your organization’s current security measures are adequate for that specific situation.
Each specific threat is unique and may require a different approach.
Wisdom is the ability to define what you know
and what you do not.
If you are in need of a security consultant’s
expertise and experience,
do not hesitate
to reach out for external measures
outside of your firm.