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June: Workplace Preparedness
Being Prepared is the Key
Are you ready to deal with the unexpected at work? As a manager or supervisor, you have plenty to stay ahead of on a typical day. But have you given thought to the types of crises that could impact your workplace unexpectedly? This could include natural disasters occurring in your area. It could also include a crisis such as workplace violence.
The best way to deal with such challenging situations is: be ready for them in advance. It’s quite natural to think, “That couldn’t happen here.” But in fact, natural and human crises can impact any workplace in any geographic region. Being aware of potentially damaging workplace situations can help you prepare should the unexpected occur. And having a plan for the “worst case scenario” can help reduce the impact on your organization.
In this issue of Your Source, you’ll learn how to:
- Prepare your workplace for natural disasters, and help your staff cope should a disaster occur.
- Recognize the signs of potential workplace violence and learn how to respond to the situation.
- Maintain good communication with your staff on a routine basis and in times of crisis.
As a manager, your role is to protect the interests of both your staff and the organization as a whole. This issue of Your Source gives you helpful ideas on how to prepare for difficult workplace challenges.
Log on to access Workplace Preparedness and other helpful resources in the Spotlight section.
Recognizing the Warning Signs of Workplace Violence
Workplace violence can impact your organization and productivity. It is important for every manager to be aware of the warning signs of all types of potential violence.
Prevention is a Key First Step
Your organization may have a “zero tolerance” policy in place for all types of violence in the workplace—even non-physical acts such as shouting. Your management training should include how to listen carefully and address problems promptly. It is also important to learn to use the tools of performance counseling and conflict resolution. These can help you deal with difficult situations earlier rather than later. The first step is to obtain and learn your organization’s policy.
The Signs of Potential Danger
As a manager you are not expected to be able to diagnose human behavior. But you can help avoid dangerous situations by knowing the warning signs and situations that could lead to workplace violence. Some warning signs to watch for include:
- Strongly oppose workplace change
- Display verbally insulting, threatening or other aggressive behaviors
- Have continuing conflicts with supervisors or co-workers
- Express an undue fascination with weapons
- Have repeatedly violated workplace policies
- Show signs of increased mood swings, behavior, appearance or speech
- Display signs of depression, paranoia or reckless substance abuse
- Use expressions such as, “I can’t take it anymore” or “I think I’m going to explode”
When You Need Help
In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or other emergency services available in your area and contact your human resources department. You can contact your program for confidential counseling help around workplace violence. More information and resources are available online.