Every day, businesses in every sector, in every city and town, and in every industry are being blinded by a myth so devastating that, when the myth is shattered, the wake-up-call is more than many can bear. I'm talking about the realm of workplace violence, but the myth isn't that violence in the workplace exists. No. This article sheds light on the life-threatening myth that, if not dealt with, can leave a business, it's assets, and it's people literally beaten, broken, or dead .
In light of the tragedies taking place in record number and increasing in both occurrences and severity over the past decade, 99% of businesses still do not have a workplace violence action plan as part of their risk management, crisis management, or employee training systems. And, unfortunately, only a small percentage of those who do have a plan, do not have a complete workplace violence training system for their employees as a part of it.
But, in this article I'm not talking about what "is" true about how most companies deal with workplace violence. I'm not even going to talk about what you need in order to prevent, defend against, or survive an incident of violence in the workplace. And the reason I'm not going to talk about these things is simply this: These things do not matteras long as those responsible for establishing, creating, and implementing these systems and programs are blinded or deceived by the myth that is at the root of the problem - the myth that, when it's finally destroyed, most often leaves businesses, property, and lives destroyed along with it.
What is this myth?
It's the same myth or false idea that most people buy into that prevents them from providing better security, safety, and self-defense measures for themselves and their loved-ones every day. It's the same myth that practically every victim has in common with every other, regardless of how they were attacked, tricked, manipulated, deceived, or hurt.
What is it?
What is the number one myth in the business world that puts every single businessand those who work or visit there at risk for potentially losing their lives in a workplace violence tragedy? First, let me tell you what it isn't.
While the following are certainly common myths and misinformation being perpetuated about violence in the workplace - and not just in the US, but in every country around the world - none of these is the myth believed or acted upon universally by most business owners, managers, or administrators. If you guessed that...
...sorry but, you'd be wrong .
It's not that these beliefs aren't among the causes of businesses, schools, and medical facilities going unprotected and unprepared. It's just that none of them is at the top of the list.
No, regardless of whether or not your business has a workplace violence plan and training system, I would be willing to bet my children's' college fund that the people responsible for this area of your business are in some way affected by the myth that I'm talking about. And, once you know what it is, you'll be able to see many of the flaws or omissions that I do when I review them.
So, what IS the number one myth regarding violence in the workplace?
It's simply this:
"It won't happen here."
As I said, even if you do have one, most plans or policies stop at the creation and implementation stages. Everyone knows there's a plan so they feel safe. As safe as someone who's been threatened or beaten and obtains a PFA, or "protection from abuse" order, from the court.
The protection is an illusion . It amounts to nothing more than a person in authority issuing an "order" that is supposed to stop someone from hurting someone else because...
...they were toldto.
As for the document itself? It can do absolutely nothing to stop a fist, knife, gun, or explosive device from hurting or killing the intended victim. And a workplace violence policy loaded with zero tolerance statements, banned weapons lists, reporting procedures, disciplinary policies, or even rules for employee conduct and interaction, is no different.
Regardless of whether someone takes karate or self-defense classes or not, just as whether or not your business has a workplace violence plan or not, does not mean that the actions you take every day is consistent with the knowledge, belief, and recognition that you are at risk and that an incident could occur at any time.
I don't just believe this to be true. I know it to be true.
Even if you have a plan or policy to supposedly protect you and your people from a violent attacker, I know that either that plan is missing the necessary physical training to keep you alive and allow you to survive a serious threat or, your employee training schedule has little to no time for actually teaching your people what to do, or refreshing their memories so that they can respond appropriately and reduce the amount of damage that could occur.
Remember, your policies and procedures are merely words on paper or electronic documents until you actually take actionand put them to use. Don't be blind-sided like the victims of the recent attacks who, up until the moment they heard gunfire or died from it, believed the most lethal myth of all: that it would never happen to them!
If you're a business owner, executive, manager, or facility or department administrator looking for solid, proven, and reliable information for preventing and surviving workplace violence, get the Workplace Violence Awareness Guide and stop taking risks with your life and the lives of those you're responsible for!