It is rather unfortunate that even the best of companies have a lot of workplace violence. Nowadays there is so much competition among employees and everyone wants to do well and that is one of the main reasons why such workplace violence occurs. If you are a manager or boss in a company then it is your responsibility to ensure that things function smoothly. In order to assist you along the way, given here are some important tips and strategies to prevent workplace violence.
Tips for Workplace Violence Prevention:
1. Have distinct body who deals with such situations:
If you are the manager or the boss in the company it is quite likely that you already have plenty of responsibility on your plate so rather than adding more things to your list, it is advisable that you begin by putting together a team of people who know exactly how to deal with situations of workplace violence. Once you have entrusted the matter to their able hands they will surely not let you down at any point in time. Hiring these people might be an additional expense to the company, but it is an investment which needs to be made. If not, your company is sure to land itself in big trouble.
2. This should be a very neutral body:
When hiring somebody you should keep in mind, that these individuals should be absolutely neutral in their approach. Since they have a distinct role to perform in the company there is no scope for them to act partial to anyone in the organization. When you are hiring them on board, you should make it a point to make it known to them, just what a vital role they are expected to pay. Never hire someone who you are unsure about, or they may not be able to do justice to this high position. Pay these employees well so that at no point in time should they ever be tempted to take bribes.
3. Give severe punishments for anyone who is guilty
If at all you find that someone is guilty of committing workplace violence then you should immediately go right ahead and fire him/her. The punishments should be in keeping with the crime which has been committed. At no point in time should anyone be let off with a small punishment for a big crime which has been committed. It is rather shocking that many companies make defaulters pay a fine when they indulge in workplace violence. Doing this is something absolutely unethical simply because it is usually rich and wealthy people who are let off by just paying a fine for huge misdeeds.
4. Do not dismiss workplace violence as a minor issue:
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when dealing with the issue of workplace violence is dismissing it as a very minor issue which ought not to be paid any attention to. The moment the company takes an attitude towards workplace violence, the rates at which this crime is committed will increase manifold. The company should have a zero tolerance policy towards defaulters so that no one tries their tricks at any point in time. If the rules are strict then the employees will constantly have their wits about them. They would never want to be accused of workplace violence as they would know that it would lead to the termination of their employment.
5. Action should be taken very swiftly so the culprit doesn’t get away:
It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied, so it is very important that when someone lodges a complaint, action is taken very fast. Often when companies end up taking too long to punish the guilty party he or she escapes without ever being caught or even punished. The team which is hired to look into such matters should come in to work on a daily basis and they should be swift, efficient as well as tech savvy individuals who know exactly what they need to do when a case of workplace violence happens to come up or is reported.
6. Install CCTV cameras all around the company:
One of the most effective tips in order to prevent workplace violence is by installing CCTV cameras all across the office. Many companies make the error of installing such cameras only inside the office, but such an error should not be committed. Such CCTV cameras should be put up even on the outside for example in the gardens, in the garage or even in the compound. It is usually in desolate locations like this that workplace violence usually occurs. The moment employees know that there are being watched throughout the day they will not indulge in such violence. Even in the washrooms, there should always be someone on guard to ensure that things are under control.
7. Ensure that reports or complaints are taken very seriously:
The reports which are made should be treated with a great deal of seriousness. If the victims are not given the respect which is due to them, then they are never going to come forward and make any confessions at later points in time. Workplace violence if not cut off in the bud often leads to even homicide. So if you do not want your office to become the next crime scene you should ensure that no one is allowed to act in an arbitrary manner at any point in time. In addition to that everything should be strictly confidential and the victims name should never be revealed.
8. Ensure that the manager is very vigilant:
The manager in the company is usually someone who is expected to keep an eye out for any unruly activity which is taking place. If the manager does not act in a responsible manner then a lot of things will be going on behind his back which he may not even be aware of. Each floor should have someone in charge so that all the employees feel both safe as well as secure. Work place violence is never something which suddenly springs up, most often than not it is usually a number of things which lead up to it. So a manager should always be present, willing to deal with problems as they arise.
9. Encourage people who are being harassed to come forward:
Employees who are victims should be encouraged to come forward and voice their problem or to speak out about what has happened to them. If the employees are not encouraged to come forward then it is likely that they will keep up the matter bottled up within them. People who ate silently made to suffer like this sooner or later do have a mental breakdown. So ensure that all the seniors in the company are very approachable so that any employee can have the freedom to talk to anyone at any given point in time. No doubt seniors in the company should be strict but when it comes to a situation like this, they should be very sensitive.
10. Ensure the company has employed armed security guards:
A major strategy to prevent workplace violence is by hiring armed security guards to the company who will always be on standby just in case workplace violence is occurring. Such people should be watching the CCTV footage constantly so that they can immediately head to the scene of the violence. There is no point in having CCTV cameras if there is no one always on standby waiting to deal with a situation when it arises. These guards need to be armed just so that employees can feel safe as they step into the office parameters. Nowadays all companies have employed such security guards.
11. There should be a psychiatrist present in the office:
Very often workplace violence is something that is committed by a person who is going through a lot mentally. A great tip in order to prevent workplace violence is by simply hiring a psychiatrist who will be willing to give anyone a sympathetic ear at any point in the day. Once people are able to speak their minds, they will be able to let off a lot of steam. Once they have let off their steam then they will not even think about resorting to violence in take charge of a situation. The understanding of the human mind is something which can be done best by a trained professional like a psychiatrist.
12. Be aware of what exactly workplace violence is:
Many people are actually unsure of what workplace violence is exactly. It is for this reason that proper seminars as well as programs should be conducted where people can be made more aware of the fact of what exactly workplace violence is. Many of the younger employees might not even be aware of the fact that what they are going through can be termed as workplace violence. In such seminars the speaker should give an informative talk which will state in no uncertain terms the company’s attitude to people who are defaulters. Things and programs like this are a great preventive measure.
13. Women should not be made to work very late hours:
As unfortunate as it may sound it is usually the women who are subject to such workplace violence. It is usually male members who attack them simply because women are usually not strong enough to fight back. To avoid such a situation women should not be encouraged to work very late or to stay back in the office. If they have to stay back beyond a certain amount of time, then they should be sent home in proper transport accompanied by an armed security guard. Usually it is a woman security guard who accompanies the women home and ensures that no one harms or harasses her in any way at all.
14. The boss should encourage employees to work as a family:
A great way to prevent workplace violence is by harboring a feeling of love and respect among the employees. If the employees constantly are made to compete with one another, then that is usually what causes the problem of workplace violence. However if the seniors or boss in the company makes everyone feel very confident in themselves then there will be no scope for such a situation of workplace violence to occur. Everyone should be made to work together as a team.
15. Employees should have proper stress busters:
In addition to having a psychiatrist at work, the employees should always have proper stress buster at work, which will help them to cool down especially at times when they may be feeling too stressed out. If frustration is not allowed to build up then the employees wont feel the need to indulge in violence. Many companies have a de stressing room, where there can be some magazines or even massage chairs for the employees to make use of as and when they want. Keep in mind that action against an accused person should only be taken, once the person has been proven guilty after a proper and fair investigation.
To run your company in a proper manner it is imperative that you put into practice these vital tips as well as strategies. It is usually those companies which are lax in implementing their rules that have to face such situations. Irrespective of who the person is or what role he plays in the company, if he is indulging in workplace violence and putting the lives and well being of others in jeopardy, then he should be fired immediately. In addition to firing him, a legal case should be made against him as well, this is to ensure that such an individual does not join another company and harass other innocent individuals. The work environment should be very safe and happy so that no one feels insecure or vulnerable at any point in time.