Every company should prioritize establishing a welcoming, secure, and non-threatening workplace atmosphere. Employee productivity will increase and the business as a whole will profit when workers feel safe. Reducing instances of harassment and violence at work is one approach to this. Let’s follow us to find out tips to prevent workplace violence in this post!
- 1 What do actions qualify as violence and harassment at work?
- 2 6 tips to prevent workplace violence
What do actions qualify as violence and harassment at work?
Violence and harassment in the workplace can take many various forms, and they may or may not be obvious. These behaviors might be sexual, psychological, or physical. They may take the form of isolated occurrences, a recurring pattern of conduct between coworkers, bosses, and subordinates, or interactions with or by third parties.
Examples of workplace harassment
Harassment is when someone is purposefully and persistently intimidated, abused, and/or humiliated in circumstances related to their employment. Offending statements, unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate sexual gestures, verbal abuse, the dissemination of untrue rumors, racial, religious, or gender insults, and other offensive activities are some instances of harassment. Bullying and harassment can take place in person, over the phone, by email, in writing, or through other means of communication.
Examples of violence in the workplace
Examples of workplace violence include assault, property destruction, physical threats and attacks, physical intimidation, and other threatening behaviors. Violence at work frequently occurs in the actual workplace, on the way to and from work, during work-related events, while using equipment that is given by the employer, or in lodging that is offered by the employer.
Preventing Violence at Work
Every firm must be ready for any kind of workplace violence if it wants to function properly. This entails having both preventative measures and action plans to carry out in the event of any accidents.
Healthcare, taxi drivers, and gas stations are among the professions that are thought to have a high incidence of workplace violence events. It’s critical to comprehend the elements that could turn your job into an unsafe location.
6 tips to prevent workplace violence
It is your duty as an employer to ensure employee safety. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate the danger of workplace violence, taking the required precautions will assist in greatly lower it. The following are some of the most crucial procedures you should implement in your company:
Make policies and procedures that are clear
Because of ignorance, there are many cases of harassment and violence in the workplace. Of course, there are intentional acts, but there are also others who are either oblivious to or uninformed that their actions come under these prohibited behaviors.
Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to develop a concise set of rules that outline and demonstrate the kinds of conduct that are unacceptable in the workplace or at activities related to the workplace. The fact that these rules are clear-cut will assist avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
Effective policy communication
It is not sufficient simply hand out or send your policies to employees once you have finished developing them. You must make sure they are aware of and comprehend each line item.
Employers frequently conduct workplace violence training and harassment awareness orientations, but many businesses do so merely to shield themselves from potential legal repercussions. These discussions occasionally become awkward and many employees make fun of them rather than being helpful.
Make careful to be sensitive and treat the topic seriously while presenting policies. Ask workers to sign off on their understanding of the policies at the conclusion of the session.
Teach bystander intervention
Violence and harassment at work frequently go undetected. This is due to the widespread fear that others may take offense at their complaints. Bystander training, which gives those who aren’t necessarily involved in an incident the ability to report violence or harassment they’ve seen, is one strategy to prevent this from happening.
Introduce culture-enhancing initiatives
It’s possible that changing workplace culture is the best method to stop harassment and violence. Working in a setting that promotes equality, professionalism, and respect for others may lessen instances of abusive and offensive behavior.
Although it is difficult to immediately alter the corporate culture, you can start by implementing initiatives that will lessen the poisonous and stressful environment at work. A paid company outing or out-of-town team-building seminars will, of course, be beneficial if your budget allows for them. However, it is not necessary for these activities to require as much time, money, or effort.
One method to allow your staff more time to unwind and foster a sense of community and trust is, for instance, to modify your company’s rigid coffee break policy. Studies show that taking coffee breaks at work can boost output and reduce stress, which might help create a less toxic work environment.
Change the office’s layout
Violence and harassment frequently occur in isolated, secluded areas. Such incidences might be decreased by changing the physical layout of the office.
One technique to achieve visual transparency while yet ensuring acoustical seclusion in private offices is to use transparent materials for the interior walls, such as glass or plexiglass. Eliminating places where workers could feel cornered or confined is another strategy. Common areas, such as break rooms, storage areas, or copy rooms, should have two exit points, for instance. In the event of undesirable behavior, employees will have an easier exit thanks to this.
Install access control and surveillance equipment
Security cameras can help a company protect its assets, but they can also prevent employees from engaging in inappropriate behavior. They are less likely to commit an offense if they are aware that cameras are watching them at all times. Additionally, security cameras might increase workers’ sense of security at work.
Controlling who enters and leaves the office is also essential. The addition of an access control system gives the employees within an additional layer of security. Instances of harassment and violence from third parties can also be avoided in this way.