A program for managing workplace violence should be a written policy, in which all staff members have access to and are aware of. The idea of the policy is to send a clear message to staff members that violence within the workplace will not be tolerated, and should clearly identify the consequences if violence in the workplace occurs. This ensures that all employees are aware of the consequences of their actions and that all incidents, no matter how small, will be investigated.
The policy should be built on consultation between top, middle and lower management and, also, employees. This ensures that everyone has been included in the policy’s construction, and that everyone realises it is in place and what it entails.
The policy itself should encourage employees to report all incidents of workplace violence, identifying that there will be no consequences if you report the incident. The policy should explain that any incident that is reported will be investigated and all parties that were involved are accountable, no matter what their role is within the company, and will feel all the consequences aligned with the incident. This makes employees feel as though they are equal and will not be secluded or bullied for their reporting of the incident.
A written policy ensures the minimisation of violence within the workplace. This is as everyone within the organisation is aware of the policy and the consequences. In addition, it is important to make clear in the policy that – if you do come forward, you will not be persecuted or mistreated. This is as the first step in decreasing violence in the workplace is for someone to report it, as if the policy does not clearly identify this then no one will come forward and workplace violence will continue. If you require assistance in writing a workplace violence policy and/or implementing the policy, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.