Training Your Employees in WPV
February 1, 2013
I’ve gotten questions from business owners and managers alike asking me this question. ‘Why do I need to train employees on workplace violence? I mean, they don’t need to know all that stuff it’ll just clog their day and cause them to worry too much! Not to mention, I really don’t think they need to know that nonsense. They need to do their job and not think about that stuff’
The very simple answer is that they do have to be trained on it and every facet that the company is doing to protect them. Not the minutiae of course, but the broad overview of your program and their safety. And it shouldn’t be any trivial matter.
Too many times companies don’t want to train their employees for only a couple of reasons. The first is money. Training costs money and lost productivity. If the training takes place during business hours then its lost productivity. If it’s done off hours they have to be paid so therefore it’s lost money. And let’s not even start on the instructor/videos!
Secondly, it’s the employer’s attitude that I mentioned above. It’ll just clog their day and cause them to worry too much about it. Then they’ll clog the bosses day! But if you have an incident on WPV, let me ask you a question; Do you want to have employees that are informed and know what to do or just run around in a sheer panic and make it worse?
The key to recognizing and preventing WPV is training. Employees need to know what to look for and why. Warning signs especially are something to train them on.
I would venture to guess that most companies consider any training over and above the orientation (if there is even any of that) session (on whatever the employee is doing) is useless and too trivial to worry about. In some cases they may be correct, but not in this one.
Do you not have to instruct your employees every year on sexual harassment? How about their benefits? Maybe changes in shift hours or conditions? How about a new machine or product line? You have to spend time to train them on these, so WPV shouldn’t be any different.
Training for an incident of WPV should be like all other training that employees, supervisors, and managers receive. It needs to be done on a continual and consistent basis. It does no good to train for anything for a few days and then drop the entire program because you don’t have time or energy. You have to make the time, find the money, and the energy to do it.
Do your employees get training on the newest machines and procedures on those machines? How long does it take to train an employee to efficiently, safely, and effectively operate a new process for mixing the chemicals for an auto battery or how to get the proper blood from a patient?
The general answer is several days if not weeks to perfect it. Yet many companies don’t train those valuable assets in protecting themselves and co-workers in security, policies & procedures, or WPV. And why is that? Because they have that that one most dangerous attitude I talked about before – CHH.
So how do I answer those owners or managers who ask me the questions above? As simple as I can, in my own blunt and direct manner, I tell them that one such incident can put them out of business because of the cost and that it can happen to any business, at any time, any-where, to anyone. And while the frequency may be low, it doesn’t negate the fact that it can ‘kill’ their business.