Work place security management and workplace violence management are two concepts that strangely sounds Greek to the ears of over 89% of small business owners and managers. This is an unfortunate reality as it goes a long way to show how SMEs value their most valued assets – employees.
In this article, I will be talking about the fundamentals of work place security and violence management. But, first of, let us start by throwing some light on the key concepts.
What is work place security?
Work place security is the collective efforts taken by all participants in a work environment to ensure the safety of all. This in the broadest sense is the process of protecting employees from work related injuries and illnesses.
Work place security also involves comprehensive security package provided for the purpose of safeguarding lives while at the same time physically and logically securing the assets of a company.
The exit and entry points of work place for example must meet minimum baseline security requirement. The main aim of having a work place security program in place is to protect work place actors (employees, employers, customers, vendors, etc) from both internal and external risks.
What is work place violence management?
Work place violence management are those actions taken by management to ensure that acts that threatens the physical existence of an organization are nipped at the bud. Actions that threaten the existence of a business includes; (a) harassment, (b) intimidation, (c) verbal & physical abuse, etc.
Having a work place violence management policy in place is a vital step taken by modern day managers to ensure that assets of an entity are safeguarded. At the very least, a well-articulated accident management plan should be in place.
Why should small businesses take work place security and violence management seriously?
Well, the right question should have been; why shouldn’t small businesses take work place security and violence management seriously? Anyways, regardless of what question was asked, the bottom line and most critical fact is that businesses of any kind, size & type must take their staff seriously for the following reasons (note that this list is not exhaustive):
- For the benefits of the customer: Give your staff what they need and they will in turn give your customers what they want. It is that simple. You cannot have pool of disgruntled staff and expect fantastic customer service. People naturally cannot give out what they do not have or possessed.
- For the benefits of the business: This is self-explained. Happy staff translates to happy bottom line for the business.
- For the benefits of the employees: Employee who is satisfied with his work place is usually proud about it and would do anything within their power to promote the welfare of other staff members. A staff who learnt a new skill would gladly share same with other staff members if they see are happy with the work environment.
- For the benefits of the government: The government will benefit in multiple folds if every organization within its territory are positively responsible for taking care of their working environment. Are you asking how? Think of increased tax revenue and reduced security operation costs amongst other things.
- For the benefits of the society: A society that has peaceful and well organized work place will surely be better off compared to one with unsafe and chaotic workplaces.
Components of work place security and violence management
- Policies: enforceable policies are the backbone of any workplace security and violence management program. You cannot hold anyone accountable for any action they take when you haven’t made it clear that such action(s) are not allowed in the organization. Although there are certain things that are universally not best ethical behavior in a working environment but then businesses still have the responsibility of clearly writing down their rules and regulations for all employees to abide with. We for example know that work place bullying is an unacceptable behavior but how do you measure or determine what constitutes bullying if an accept has not been made by the entity to defined what workplace bullying is. In summary, having suitable policies in place is the first and most important component of workplace security and violence management.
- Procedures: Procedures are ‘how to’ documents that points employees and other work place participants to what actions to take to ensure that organizational goal congruent is achieved.
- Plan: Once the above two aspects are in place, the planning aspect will naturally follow. This is where feasibility studies and researches are made. The planning phase needs to take into consideration the availability of resources needed to successfully execute any choses course of action.
- Execution: Without execution, all efforts put into every other components of workplace security and violence management will amount to nothing. This is where all hands need to be on deck for desired results.
- Training: Training is a very important component of work place security and violence management because of the simple fact that nothing remains the same. What worked some years or even months back may not work very well today.
- Support and helpline: There is always need for continuous support and help in any scheme. This is where feedbacks are obtained for improving the process.