There are many attitudes in a business environment that can cause an incident of workplace/school violence. All of them are either caused by or perpetuated by management and other employees; I think we can all agree with that. But do you realize what the most dangerous one of those attitudes is?
Most people (whether they are parents, teachers, administrators, employees, or management) don’t, or wouldn’t want to, know. Unfortunately, the worst part is that most of these people just plain ignore the problem because…’It Can’t Happen Here’
In my opinion, this is the absolute worst and most dangerous attitude that a company can have. It takes away all the problems and simply says that if you treat your employees so much better than other companies, that it Can’t Happen Here. There is an old song from the 70’s entitled ‘Fooling Yourself’, (by Styx) and sadly many companies take this title to the extreme with workplace violence.
The difficult part of this is that everyone involved will say one of a couple of things
I never thought it could happen to me
I never imagined it would happen here
You would have thought this place was safe
No one wants to think about it. No one wants to even talk about or consider the possibility. Until of course it actually happens. Then all hell breaks loose and the accusations start to fly. Then they’ll wring their hands and wail and moan that they didn’t see it coming and there was nothing they could have done – oh woe is me woe is me whatever shall we do!
Every single time I hear this it makes me swear a blue streak. I say so many bad things that sailors take lessons from me, in learning new words and how to put the right amount of invective in their voice!
Telling yourself that an incident can’t happen to you, your employees, your kids, your school, and your business is like saying that an Evangelical Christian won’t go to church! It will happen, whether you want it to or not. That’s what makes it so dangerous. And just ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich, is not a good idea in the incidence of WPV and the world we live in today, you can get bit in the butt! The global network we live in is dangerous and can be deadly if we don’t pay attention to what happens in our schools and businesses. If you didn’t pay attention to the cash flow in your company or facility, how long would you be in business or have a job?
If you ignore the warning signs that you’re having a stroke or heart attack, what happens? Usually, your injuries are so severe that you will either struggle to live your life normally or you’re dead! The same holds true for WPV. Just like with a heart attack or stroke, you have to try and mitigate the risks of actually having one. But you can’t do that if you are sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the potential problems – not to mention the warning signs!
Too many companies believe that if they treat their employees with respect, perks, and the like they wouldn’t do anything violent in the office or factory. And idiotic zero tolerance policies and ignoring the issue within the school can also institute an incident. And while it’s true it may be rare, it can still happen and probably will.
Just remember, WPV isn’t just murder. Whether it’s deadly or not, who knows? Will it cause injury, who knows? Will it cost you or an employee money? More than likely. And those costs could be in the recruiting process, extra security measures, lawsuits, lost wages, medical bills, and innumerable other expenses that’ll come up as you get into further trying to recover from the incident.
The thing that you have to do is check your vulnerability to an incident. But just remember this line from earlier; Any time, anywhere, for any reason, to anyone; in new swear words and how to swear!
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his website at;
www.Facebook.com/One is too Many to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about.