If there is one thing you don’t want to happen in the workplace, it is violence. This will not just physically affect employees, but also impact the reputation of your business. This also puts other members of the business in an awkward position. They will realize that working with the company is unsafe and they should not continue working.
Ultimately, the issues will subside and people will move on. However, the damage has already been done and the company is in a difficult position moving forward. Therefore, you have to do everything to prevent workplace violence from happening.
Never hire offenders
You need to have extensive background check of potential applicants and their criminal records. This does not mean you have to continue the culture of discriminating people with a violent past, but you also don’t want to put your current employees at risk. If there were red flags in the past showing the person’s violent tendencies, you should just not hire this person at all. Aside from background check, the interview will also help you gauge the personality of the candidate. Be direct in asking questions related to violent history. If you can see an awkward response, perhaps this shows signs of fear or guilt.
Establish clear rules
Everyone who works for your company must know that there are consequences that comes with violent acts at the workplace. They should be informed that these actions will not just affect their employment status, but will eventually lead to criminal prosecution. You can even do a test just to ensure that they understood the rules that were established.
Make everyone feel comfortable with reporting warning signs
You should tell your employees that if they notice someone with violent tendencies, it has to be reported to the upper management team. This needs to be stopped right before it gets worse. You should have an open culture. Other workplaces were recently in the news for preventing women who were victims of harassment from complaining or shutting them down even before the complaint is elevated. Don’t make them feel afraid of reporting violent tendencies.
Sometimes, it is not even about hitting someone before you can say that the person is violent. It may also include people who keep acting weirdly. They may also take very risk behavior even while working. Some others seem to be very moody and get fired up quickly. These things may have different meanings, but it is better to report them anyway.
Impose a no tolerance policy
If ever someone in the workplace has committed grave act of violence to someone else, whether a fellow employee or clients, this person should be immediately fired. This is not even limited to physical violence only. When the person gets really aggressive verbally or even attempts to hit another person physically, regardless of the explanation, this person must be removed from the job.
Over the years, several companies have gotten by with their practices of hiding reports of workplace violence. Don’t be among these companies and never create a culture of violence at work.
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