Workplace Violence (WPV) incidents are disruptive and destructive to both people and organizations. They exact a severe toll on an organization’s morale, performance, financial wellbeing and brand.
Unfortunately, WPV incidents are on the rise. Many times, these incidents are driven by cultural, economic, social and psychological triggers such as mental illness, drug use, economic hardship, domestic conflicts, communication problems, actual or perceived sense of injustice in the workplace, and even traumatic family events (e.g., death, illness and injury).
The best way to deal with WPV incidents is to prevent them from becoming full-fledged conflicts. This can be achieved by doing two essential things:
- Establishing and maintaining a robust WPV mitigation and response program
- Using proactive and preemptive investigating techniques to detect and handle WPV situations at their earliest evolutionary stages.
Since WPV incidents are often foreseeable and take time to evolve, it is possible to take steps to prevent their occurrence and destructive impact on people and organizations. Prevention requires alert and proactive managers and personnel, as well as appropriate tools to deploy as necessary.
Managers and employees are the company’s first line of defense against WPV. Personnel must be properly trained in recognizing and understanding the different types of conflicts and the kind of responses and preemption, mitigation and management tools that are available.
External, expert resources are often the second line of defense and the conduit through which the company’s first line of defense acquires the tools to handle difficult situations.
One of the most important tools a good WPV program has is a Threat Assessment Investigation. This type of investigation is primarily designed to follow up on an actual or suspected WPV threat by determining if it is credible, and providing a mitigating strategy. Such an investigation has both overt and covert elements that give management a real-time picture of the organization’s vulnerabilities with regards to the actual or suspected threat.
A psychological component can also be an important part of a threat assessment investigation since many, if not most, WPV incidents involve employees dealing with a mental illness issue. Exploring this part of a threat assessment requires skilled forensic psychologists who can shed light on the potential root cause of the problem, and develop a strategy for resolving the conflict at hand.
WPV incidents are a challenge for an organization of any size, and can have long-lasting effects on the general employee population, company operations and brand. Utilizing a Threat Assessment Investigation to resolve WPV issues is a smart, cost effective approach.
Contact us to learn more about using our innovative investigation techniques as a major WPV mitigation and resolution tool.