The Importance of Leadership in Preventing Workplace Violence
Workplace violence (WPV) prevention is a challenging and anxiety raising issue for most organizations. Leaders react to this problem in different ways. Leaders:
- DENY: “It will never happen in our workplace.”
- GAMBLE: “I can’t justify the expense for something that may not happen”
- TAKE ACTION: This leader tackles the problem head on and acts proactively to create a work environment where grievances and other behavioral issue are not allowed to fester into violence.
Which leader are you? Have you created a culture which emphasizes the importance of a safe, effective and productive work environment?
In our experience, leadership is critically important in creating a culture where prevention efforts thrive and are lasting.
Leadership in this case refers to the ability of an organization’s key leaders to create, model and maintain a safe work environment, while culture represents the personality and character of the work environment – the sum of its values, traditions, behaviors and attitudes. With regard to workplace violence prevention, a safe workplace culture is one that prioritizes and communicates the importance of establishing a threat and violence free setting in which employees can effectively do their jobs. And should threats or violence occur, one that ensures that the organizational response is both prepared and immediately able to assess and mitigate any potentially dangerous situation.