For many people, an office is a place of work and productivity. However, for some employees, it can be an unsettling environment that causes anxiety or fear. Violence in the workplace has become increasingly common over the past few years with incidents occurring at all levels of employment. According to statistics on workplace violence, nearly ninety percent of employees have been bullied by a supervisor or coworker.
Why workplace violence is a serious issue?
There are many reasons why workplace violence is a serious issue. Here are just some of the important ones:
- It creates an unproductive work environment, which can lead to low morale and physical health in employees
- Violence increases insurance costs for employers, who then pass on their costs to consumers. This increased expense reduces employment opportunities overall, which creates a domino effect on employment opportunities
- As employment opportunities decrease, the market becomes more volatile and violent
- Employees are less likely to trust their employers after being harassed or threatened at work. This lack of trust reduces productivity and further increases employment costs
- Violence can lead to increased absenteeism, reduced work performance, higher turnover rates, less job satisfaction, and greater stress in employees
- Violence can also lead to litigation, employment termination, or even criminal charges which can significantly affect the company’s image
There are many steps employers and employees can take to prevent the likelihood of violence in the workplace.
1. Hire a background check agency to perform employment background screening.
An employment background screening is one of the best ways to check the employment history and criminal records of applicants. Find a reliable background check agency that can provide a thorough background screening to prevent violence and other issues in the workplace.
2. Create an anti-violence policy that includes zero tolerance for any form of violence in the workplace.
This policy should be posted in a visible place and distributed with employment contracts or employee handbooks. More importantly, employees should be trained on the policy and their roles in implementing it.
3. Educate employees on how to deal with a potentially violent situation.
Employees need to know how they should react if violence breaks out in the workplace. After all, creating a safe environment is also their responsibility. They should know what actions to take if one arises, such as how to respond, where to go for help, and who they should contact in case of an emergency.
4. Create a trustworthy reporting system to encourage employees to report any concerns or issues.
Employees should be encouraged to speak up if they have some sort of concern with the employment situation, even if it’s just an issue that needs addressing in general. This includes being able to tell their employer about violence without fear of reprisal or repercussions. By encouraging open communication and creating a trustworthy reporting system, employers can increase the likelihood that employees will truly feel safe in their employment situation.
Don’t wait until violence occurs to take action. There are many things you can do to prevent violence in the workplace. Background screening, anti-violence policies, education, and awareness are all ways to help increase employee safety.