Doing Nothing is a Choice
This was the subject of a discussion group on linked in a few months ago. And being honest, and tooting my own horn, something I’ve been saying for a decade, albeit in a different way. We can either choose to act upon or ignore the warning signs of workplace violence (WPV).
But no matter what you decide to do it is a choice. If people get killed or injured during a WPV incident, you have to live with it. And if you had chosen to ignore those signs and not report them, it may over whelm you. So in this respect, doing nothing is a choice, and very possibly a bad one.
There are many excuses or explanations in which someone will tell them, to avoid informing a supervisor or manager, of a potential issue. All the employee(s) are doing is lying to them and putting lives endanger.
They are too scared of the bully or are so intimidated by talking to a supervisor that they just hide away and say nothing. Other times they hate their job and company more than the risk of a WPV incident, and by telling themselves this they put their lives and the lives others in danger.
We are good at lying to ourselves. A great example is politicians. They consistently lie to their constituents and the public at large. But when the momentum swings against them and the adage of ‘Tro the bums out’ begins going around, guess what happens. It’s always someone else’s bum and not theirs!
The same holds true in WPV. It’s always the next company that will get hit. The sweat box next door or the company that refuses to pay union wages. It will never be OUR company. This kind of attitude, something I harp on, is known as CHH ‘Can’t Happen Here. But looking at statistics and past incidents, yes it can.
So what can we do as security professionals do to help combat this attitude and cause nothing not to be a choice? The answer is fairly simple I believe. Build trust amongst your employees so that they will come to you with an issue.
And even if it comes to you anonymously, so what. At least you got the tip that may save lives, families, property, & jobs. Jobs. You ask? Yes jobs. If the company goes bankrupt because of an incident where are the jobs going to go… They go out the door never to be seen again.
Will you convince everyone to trust you with what they tell you. Absolutely not. There will be some employees, especially in a union environment or on the edge that will never trust a supervisor, manager, or a suit from the c-suite. But you have to work long and hard on this.
It’s never easy. While your’re building the trust you’ll be scrutinized carefully to see if you’re following through with your promise. It doesn’t matter if the c-suite made the promise, the front line supervisor or manager is the one being judged on it. And then the least little mess up, or perceived mess up…
Therefore you have to work long and hard to ensure tht doing nothing is not the choice they need to be be making. Doing nothing can cause death and severe disability to any number of employees. And building theat trust is harder than most people think. There are no born leaders, it must all be learned.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
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 Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.