Too often, companies conduct workplace violence prevention training as a reaction to a media event, an incident, or a policy change. Although most compliance policies state that employees can't threaten, bully, or create a hostile environment, training to a policy just isn't as effective at encouraging employees to take personal responsibility for their environment.
Constrained by limited resources, compliance managers may also find it difficult to set aside the time for workplace violence prevention training. Training, by itself, does not produce revenue—and organizations with multiple facilities, such as college or corporate campuses, may struggle to maintain consistent messaging across training sessions and locations.
Lastly, compliance managers may struggle with trainee focus and retention. As with any form of safety training, there is a level of fear surrounding workplace violence prevention that may cause trainees to disengage or struggle to retain information—especially if the training is implemented as a reaction to an incident or is simply a one-time event versus on-going training. This lack of engagement can be exacerbated when the information presented in training sessions is tedious or mismatched to trainee learning styles.
Because of these common challenges, it can be difficult to realize the true value of company-wide workplace violence prevention training—but effectively providing employees with the tools they need to potentially prevent workplace violence, or create early intervention opportunities, can result in positive change across the organization. How?
How Workplace Violence Prevention Training Creates Positive Change
Frequent and effective training increases situational awareness among employees, as well as improving their ability to identify potential risks. Of course, this also reduces the likelihood of incidents overall and increases early intervention. Helping security personnel stop potentially dangerous activity—before it escalates into a full-blown emergency—is the most obvious and immediate benefit of workplace violence prevention training.
Nobody knows for sure how they will react under stress until an incident occurs. Under high-stress circumstances, it can be difficult to make smart decisions. Luckily, effective training provides employees with multiple options for reporting, de-escalating, or escaping from dangerous situations. If a situation does develop, these options prevent people from panicking, reducing the overall impact.
Ultimately, training employees in workplace violence prevention leads to a safer, more responsible community. By facilitating a culture of security awareness, employees will be more likely to take responsibility for themselves, their peers, and their environment—and nothing creates positive change in an organization quite like the collective desire to increase safety.
Empower Employees with Safety Tools and Training
In many cases, workplace violence prevention training is an afterthought; a tragic situation is covered in the media or in an organization, and then compliance leaders and employees come together to ask: What could have been done to prevent this?
Don't wait until it's too late. Workplace violence can be prevented by training employees to remain aware of their surroundings, recognize suspicious activity, and report the signs of escalation more frequently. With increased situational awareness, better options for reporting and de-escalating incidents, and a sense of responsibility over the safety of everyone in the organization, employees will help reduce the likelihood of incidents and minimize damage.
However, increased awareness is only effective when combined with the right resources. A logical next step to preventing workplace violence is implementing an anonymous reporting solution. During training sessions, educate employees on when, where, and how to use this software to truly impact positive change throughout your organization.