Client’s Challenge: The Need for a Clear Set of Workplace Violence Prevention Policies

“Your report is clear,” the security leader confirmed, “on the need to ground our emerging workplace violence prevention program with a set of policies that are cross-disciplinary and customized for our unique operations and environment. I agree: and would like your team to generate these for us over the next 45 days.” Hillard Heintze had recently completed an on-site visit and interviews with leaders including the company’s legal, facilities management, human resources and security departments. The final Hillard Heintze gap analysis report included 12 key findings and a wide array of actionable guidance.

Our Solution: Compiling Policies for Preventing and Investigating Workplace Violence Incidents

The Hillard Heintze workplace violence prevention and threat assessment experts began compiling these policies and guidelines. The team drew on its earlier gap analysis and recommendations as well as its knowledge of best practices for investigating, managing and resolving reports of potential and actual workplace violence incidents.

Impact on the Client: Successful Policy Implementation Across the U.S.

The company has now adopted these for all of its operations in the United States and is adapting these for its facilities internationally. The policies themselves document critical elements such as core principles, definitions for key terms and concepts, standard operating procedures for security separation support and cases involving protection orders. The guidelines stipulate other elements such as classifications of workplace violence, the differences between inquiries and investigations, core role and responsibilities of the internal threat assessment team across multiple functions from security to HR and the legal department and fundamental protocols governing virtually every facet of violence prevention and threat assessment across this enterprise’s hundreds of facilities.

The company now has a comprehensive set of policies and practices for workplace violence prevention that can be easily incorporated into existing employee handbooks. The security leader has the tools to recruit and train an interdisciplinary team of employees and external experts. In addition, the company can now train the general workforce on best practices for responding to erratic or aggressive behavior or other incidents of concern.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

Given the diversity of potential triggers to workplace violence, we knew we needed to work closely with company leaders across human resources, compliance, legal and security to develop policies and guidelines that reflected the company’s mission and ethos.

We began with courtesy and respect as the basic tenet of creating a safe and secure workplace because often we see behaviors escalate in the absence of such consideration.

In addition, our policies and guidelines addressed such roadblocks as lack of awareness about warning signs, hesitation to get involved, assumption that it is someone else’s responsibility, reluctance to be seen as a tattletale or busybody, and apprehension about getting a coworker in trouble or fear of retaliation.”

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