While business leaders may not want to acknowledge the possibility of something going wrong at their facilities, that's no excuse not to prepare for such instances in detail. When a crisis occurs, companies without formalized crisis management plans in place often end up seeing employees harmed, property damaged, or liability increased.
Keeping people safe is the basic objective of any organization facing an urgent crisis. Step one in achieving this objective involves making a plan well in advance. Step two encompasses spreading those ideas to the whole team. If an employee doesn't know what his or her role is in a dangerous or crisis situation, that individual won't benefit from having a formalized security strategy.
Leaders are worried about security
It's no secret that the possibility of a catastrophic workplace event weighs heavily on employers' minds. Facility Executive recently confirmed this fact with data from the most recent XpertHR human resources survey. Nearly half of respondents, 45 percent, stated that they see violence prevention in the workplace as extremely or very challenging. With extreme events such as active shooter situations falling under this general umbrella of problems, it's clear why HR leaders are concerned.
Preparation levels may not be sufficient
While worries about the effects of violent incidents striking workplaces are commonplace, companies may not be investing in training that could keep their teams safer. Safety + Health Magazine reported that there is a particular dearth of anti-violence programs at businesses that have fewer than 5,000 employees. While they may not take a drastically different approach to creating plans for their offices, small employers tend to assess their plans less often and engage in less training.
The source referred to data from an Association for Threat Assessment Professionals survey, which indicated that training for response to violent crises tended to be heavily concentrated among security personnel. Three-fourths of employers said they train their security teams in preventing violence, but only 58 percent and 57 percent, respectively, train HR employees and managers. When an incident does occur, there could be problems if many employees aren't familiar with their roles in the company's plan.
A collaborative process
There are a variety of different considerations involved in an effective violence prevention and workplace security plan. Bloomberg BNA pointed out that for such a project to really succeed in its aims, it needs to have the support of management, hands-on input from employees and codified written rules. A crisis management plan can't be vague or based on assumptions.
Furthermore, the specifics of these plans should be based on site analysis, hazard control, training and record-keeping. Strategies should additionally be subject to revisiting periodically for analysis and revision. Sometimes, approaches that seem adequate to protect employees and their workplaces may be revealed as inadequate when actual problems strike. Finding out via proactive review rather than in the crucible of an actual crisis is obviously ideal.
Consultants can help
While training and planning for crises are processes carried out internally, periodic check-ins from trained consultants can help keep businesses on the right path. Assessing an existing plan or creating a new one from scratch are two of the useful processes these outside experts can spearhead. Getting fresh eyes on the situation, courtesy of individuals who are experienced in security as a discipline and haven't become used to the company's conventional wisdom, can reveal potential flaws in businesses' strategies, ones that have to be corrected.
There are many ways for a crisis to develop, and they're all worthy of preparation. For instance, preventing the harm inflicted by a disgruntled employee is very different from preparing for the rare chance that an outside shooter enters a workplace, and each type of preparation should be included in a truly comprehensive crisis plan. Frizell Group experts can help leaders draft such a strategy.