Preventing Violence in the Workplace



There was a breaking news alert stating that a man had killed five of his employees. It was also revealed that the shooter had lost his job two months prior to his termination and that he targeted certain individuals on the job and let others escape his deadly rampage. This made me wonder, did the co-workers have something to do with his termination? Despite the motives, this was a senseless act, that left innocent people dead. America is not new to workplace violence. This is why we should have more on the job trainings on how to prevent or deescalate workplace violence. Along with this, we may need to change our work perspectives. Below are a few tips we can incorporate and possibly prevent workplace violence.

1.Stop the gossip. We know that the let me tell you what I heard gossip exists in the workplace. If you are the person that is starting the gossip, BE MATURE and stop IMMEDIATELY. Words can cut deeper than you can imagine and it can be a gateway for workplace violence. On the other hand, if you are the person receiving the gossip, do not spread it any further.  If the gossip is about you and you have an idea on who the gossip is coming from, have a manager or supervisor mediate between you and the other co-worker so that you can resolve the issues. If you have issues with the supervisor/manager, take the necessary steps to prevent further incidents such as contacting cooperate or finding another job/position.

2. Leave your home problems at home. Unless you have suffered from a family death, you should not let your home problems affect how you perform on the job. Some of us bring relationship problems, family problems, and any other problems that may affect our job performance. Also, when we bring our home problems to our place of employment, we tend to take things to the heart. For example, a co-worker cracks a joke and you do not find it funny because you and your significant other had a disagreement earlier. All of a sudden, you snap on your co-worker and may even say some offensive remarks. Now you and your co-worker have friction between the two of you. If you are having problems, that are not work related, take some time to sort them out.

3.Display a positive attitude. Stop being angry on the job. If the job angers you that much again, take your skills and find another job. Or better yet, if you have enough money saved up, open up your own business.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up. This does not mean that you should go and tell your boss or co-worker how you really feel about them. What I am saying is, if someone is treating you unfairly, try to talk to that person, so that you can demolish any issues that you may have. You should not address the person alone, as this could cause more problems. Try to have a mediator. Also, document the situation and note the proper steps that you took to address the issue.

5. Terminate with care. If you are a supervisor or manager you are faced with a difficult task of terminating an individual. There is never a joy in terminating anyone because whether you know it or not, you are taking away a method that provides food. Also, do not gossip about the fact that you have terminated someone. Employees do not need to know the reasons for why you felt as though you needed to terminate someone. If you must terminate, do it with care and compassion. Please do not mock the individual or degrade the individual.

Remember, your job is like your second home. Do not do things to others that could provoke them to start violence in the workplace. Making a change to prevent possible work violence starts with you.

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