In every company, there will always be some cases when employees may feel that they are continuously being harassed by either their co-workers or even their direct superiors. When that happens, there are tendencies wherein a harassed employee, or even the oppressors, may do something violent within the workplace.
So, to prevent that from happening, there are company policies that can provide these employees with rules and regulations they need to follow. This article is going to focus on how you are going to create a workplace policy that will ensure all of your employees understand that engaging in violence within the workplace will lead to serious consequences.
How to write a workplace violence prevention policy
Any kind of act in the workplace that could heavily affect one’s performance and productivity is strictly prohibited, so naturally, an act of violence is something that no employer would ever allow. Even just one little act can greatly affect an employee, and it may even lead to an eventual lawsuit against you and your small business if there was nothing done to prevent it. So, to ensure that something like that does not happen, you have to create a workplace violence prevention policy in PDF. Here are the steps that should be able to help you in doing just that:
1. Start with the objective
While it may be pretty obvious as to what this policy is for, you still have to point it out in the employee’s handbook or in any other document that you have printed it on. Write down that the main reason for this policy is to guarantee a safe working environment by preventing employees from inflicting harm on one another. The guidelines that are in this particular policy should cover how employees who commit offenses of harassment or intimidation will be dealt with so that everyone will understand what will happen if they ever decide to commit acts these acts. You may also see environmental policy templates.
2. Scope of the policy
Make it clear that everyone in the company (yes, even yourself) is not exempted from the workplace violence prevention policy. If it applies to one employee, then it applies to all of them. So, it has to state that all employees—whether they are are full-time, part-time, or temporary—are covered under this particular policy and that there are no exceptions. You may also see business policy templates.
3. Prohibited conduct
Employees are meant to follow the rules of the workplace, so this means not doing anything that could result in the harm of the people that they work with. Point out that you would like your employees to treat each other with respect at all times. This is not just limited to their co-workers. They have to be respectful to both their customers and the vendors or suppliers that the company deals with as well. State that any employees must refrain from any horseplay, fighting, and any other conduct that may be dangerous to others. State that any threats or coercion against another employee, customer, vendor, business or sales associate will not be tolerated. Also, a state in the policy that company resources will not be used as a means to stalk, threaten, or harass anyone in or out of the company.
4. Reporting procedures
Your policy should point out the way that employees would be able to report any acts of violence within the workplace. Give them a proper outline of how they are going to go about doing that to ensure that the information goes straight to you or the person who is in charge of handling violence problems in the workplace as soon as possible. So, you can point out that if an employee were to make a report, then he must state the details of the incident such as the time, place, and location, as well as the offender and any other people who were involved when the incident took place. You may also like policy template samples.
Then, a state in the policy that the employee is required to attach any evidence such as images or video recordings to help with the investigation (assuming that he has any evidence). The employee may then submit the report to Human Resources or to the person you have designated to handle this type of situation. This will help assure the employee that his violence report is being taken seriously and that the right people have taken hold of the report to conduct a thorough evaluation of the claim.
5. Investigation procedures
If you are going to appoint someone to do the investigation of a violent offense that was reported by an employee, then you have to point out what the procedures are in order to ensure that both the victim and the company are fully protected. This is not just for the investigator, but it is also for the employees in the company to understand that those who are in charge of conducting the investigation are taking their jobs seriously. So, your policy has to point out that all reports of threats of violence or incidents of actual violence and of suspicious individuals or activities will be thoroughly investigated. It should also point out that the identity of the person who made the report will be protected and that there will be no retaliation against employees who make good-faith reports regarding any acts of violence, harassment, or even threats within the workplace. You may also like HR policy templates.
Investigators have a right to suspend the employee who has committed the offense in the event that it is required to do a more thorough investigation. Also, point out that the investigators have a right to go through any of the accused’s personal belongings or any company property that he is currently using in the workplace when gathering more information regarding the violence report. You may also see policy memo templates.
6. Consequence enforcement
Every employee has to understand that something like this cannot be overlooked and, should any of them be found guilty, then they are immediately subjected to the appropriate disciplinary action. So, a state in your policy that this kind of offense will never be taken lightly and the offender may be handed out a final written warning. If the offense is one that has caused serious problems and even put the company at risk, then your policy should state that an immediate termination letter will be sent to the employee.
How can you prevent workplace violence?
Even if you have a policy that protects employees from acts of violence, it does not necessarily mean that the threat is gone altogether. So, if you want to take extra precautions to ensure violence in the workplace will not be a problem, then here are the things that you can do to make it happen:
1. Create an effective line of communication
This is a key factor in preventing workplace violence. There are many people out there who take advantage of employees because they think they are unwilling to talk about the offense to others, or because the company makes no effort to try and prevent them. So, it would be a good idea to encourage your staff to hold team meetings where employees are able to talk about any acts of violence in the workplace. This way, it can help clear misunderstandings and can possibly defuse any possibility of violence from taking place in the workplace. You may also see policy templates in Word and PDF.
2. Conduct training sessions on how employees can identify and report acts or threats of violence
Take the time to conduct training sessions and provide awareness of any threats or acts of violence that occur within the workplace. These training sessions should help employees identify any violent intruders and the training should also tell them how they should respond in the event that they ever come across an offender. By doing this, employees will be able to understand what they have to do to create a report and it also teaches them the things that they can to prevent any of these acts from taking place. You may also see Company Policy Templates.
3. Establish a zero-tolerance code of conduct
You have to check that all of your employees are aware of your business’ code of conduct. Also, clearly point out that every single employee is covered under the policy and the consequences of the offense apply to everyone, no matter how high their position is in the company. This is to help assure employees that there will be no bias in the small business and that everyone is subject to the same rules when it comes to the matter of violence in the company.
4. Encourage employees to understand individual differences
It cannot be helped that there will always be employees who will have disputes, but you can help prevent these disputes from turning into a much bigger problem. You have to help your employees understand that the differences between each of them are a vital factor in team strength. You can set up activities in the office that will allow your employees to get to know each other so that they are able to better understand the strengths and weaknesses that they possess. By doing this, you can help employees get along and you may even solve problems that could have turned into something big if these activities were not conducted. You may also see policy template format.
5. Prevent conflicts in the workplace from turning into harassment or violence
Monitor your employees and how well they communicate and work with each other. The reason for this is because there are some work projects that can cause tension between these employees. If this tension is not relieved, then it may just foster negative thoughts and emotions within these employees and that may eventually lead them to commit acts of harassment or even violence on their fellow co-workers. Employees should talk about any problems that they may have, and if you should gather information about the possibility of tension between employees, then you should do your best to ensure that you can help resolve the problem as soon as possible. You may also like guidelines for policy templates.
6. Encourage everyone to report any acts of violence within the workplace
While your policy may be able to point out that acts of violence are prohibited in the workplace as well as how employees should report them, you should also encourage your employees to make reports when they spot any of these acts. Point out your organization’s view of workplace violence and your commitment to a safe workplace. So, whenever you have a team meeting, you can always tell your employees that they should not be afraid to make a report and that they will be safe should they decide to do so.
7. Show your employees that all of them are integral to your company
Sometimes, an act of violence can start because one employee feels that he is not as important as the others, so you have to show all of them that each one plays an important role in the company and that their work is meaningful, no matter what position they have. You may also see policy word templates.
To read other articles about how to make different company policies, be sure to check out the rest of our business-related posts.