Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Workplace Violence Prevention Training

If you are suddenly focused on workplace violence prevention training for your supervisors or employees, let me give you a few tips that will maximize your loss prevention goals and increase the likelihood that your training will actually stop a worker from shooting up the place. Sorry to be so blunt, but this may be the most important and helpful blog note that I have ever made. I want more employers to stop missing the boat on this subject.

Most workplace violence prevention training provides adequate information to employees about signs and symptoms of workplace violence - what to look for, what to do, what not to do, how to escape, and more. Great stuff. Gotta have it. No arguments. However, here is where the "model" break down: A lack of education, training, and awareness about prevention, stopping, or intervening with behaviors on the job that provoke violence.

There are many things to discuss in this regard, but let me name only a few. In future posts, I will dive into workplace violence prevention training specifics so you can more clearly see my points.

The following workplace violence prevention and education training topics can reduce risk, increase morale, and help employees avoid conflict.

1. Training and Education in Maintaining a Respectful Workplace
2. Training and Education in Avoiding Workplace Harassment
3. Training and Education in Valuing Diversity in the Workplace
4. Training and Education in Resolving Coworker Conflicts
5. Training and Education in Improving Assertiveness Skills

I bet after reading the above, you see where I am heading. These topics relate to preventing workplace violence at many levels and they should be included in your workplace violence prevention training objectives. Remember, I will be back soon to discuss each one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Supervisors are vulnerable to becoming "wrapped up" in their contentious relationships with employees. Are you so prone? If so, someday you may take actions against your employee nemisis in a moment or two of lost awareness only to find yourself and your employer sued in part because your failure to participate in good faith and fair dealing with your employee. What is this doctrine of relationship management?

The "good faith and fair dealing obligation" of employers is an important concept to understand in preventing actions by employees that can lead to expensive lawsuits.

It is an obscure principle, but this obligation on the part of employers has a very wide range of interpretations. And it has become a more common foundation or element upon which employee lawsuits have been based.

Its underlying principles should be understood by supervisors, because they can be easy to violate, even unintentionally. Management activity that can elicit action from employees based on the good faith and fair dealing exception include:

Distorting, falsifying, altering, or destroying performance appraisal records.

Malicious supervision including harassment, abusive behavior, and inadequate training.

Arbitrary and capricious demotion or creation of excessive assignments in an attempt to provoke resignation.

Retalitory termination.

Any other malicious conduct on the part of the employer that tends to unnecessarily create an adverse effect upon the worker's right to reasonable employment conditions.

Now you have a clear rationale for staying on the "rational" side of the contest you have with your employee. Have a supervisor, HR, or management confidant to keep you unemotional and on the straight and narrow when managing a troubled employee or chronically unproductive worker.