Can it really happen in my business?
You’ve taken every painstakingly detailed step into account to ensure the success of your business & survivability after a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster. You’ve hired the perfect people for your culture, found the perfect location in a high traffic area, & best of all you’re selling the greatest product since sliced bread. But one thing you never counted on…
You never thought it could happen to you, your successful business, & employees and their families. The ‘it’ is an active shooter or other workplace violence (WPV) incident. No one ever thought it could happen to them. They never thought that WPV could, or would, ever happen to them or anything close to them.
Nobody ever thinks that they will actually have an active shooter event in the business. Whether that active shooter is there to perpetrate a robbery or WPV doesn’t matter. The entire business is in denial that it could actually happen. And that attitude can result in panic, anxiety, & traumatic memories for years.
And the issue with the victims of a WPV incident is that everyone can see the warning signs and the hidden/veiled threats, but no one ever thinks to ‘connect the dots’ and put it all together and then warn either management or co-workers. And the inevitable thought from people in the general area is ‘Thank God they didn’t work here’.
Another issue that pops up on a constant, and very consistent, basis is that they never thought it could happen to them. They have fallen into the perception of the it Can’t Happen Here mentality. They are informed of it. They know about the risks. They know so much, they think, about it, it’s almost nauseating.
But did they even for a second believe that it would happen? They ignored things that they’ll notice later when the incident itself is analyzed and studied by law enforcement, security, and management. And as usually happens management will lock the barn door after the horse has left by developing a plan.
And the sad part of all of this is that no one saw it happening from the beginning when they could have stopped it. Remember, if you don’t connect the dots and warn someone about what you’ve heard, seen, or read then you’re being a part of the problem and ignoring the warning signs that are clearly there if not subtlety. And no amount of security protection will ever stop a determined person from killing our co-workers, friends, family members, and others.
And contrary to what is the general perception of business management/c-suite, these perpetrators are by no means mentally ill. Most of these murderers of men, women, & children are perfectly sane. But we rush to judgment so often and look for someone to blame it’s always the video games/movies/music, or firearms are too easy to get, or they were just crazy and snapped.
The fact of the matter is that there is usually not a single reason why people commit these WPV incidents. Are some having mental issues? Of course, of that there is no doubt! But there are a multitude of other reasons why they do these horrible things and usually it’s the warning signs that all fall inline together and align before they do. That’s why it is imperative to connect the dots and tell someone.
Does your company have a section in the disaster recovery plan (DRP) for a WPV or active shooter incident? Do the employees know it by heart? Do they know their part in it and what to do? Has it been disseminated to the entire company or a select few, who haven’t passed it along?
To answer the question I posed at the very top of this post. Can it happen to you and your business? Absolutely it can. WPV affects 100% of all businesses in the United States. It’s obviously not all deadly, not with 15 million incidents occurring a year. But you have to remember this tag line;
Anytime, anywhere, to anyone, for any reason
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear