Modern Training

Training Tips: Violence in the workplace

Posted on: April 25, 2024By: Michelle Wilton

As deadlines around recent violence prevention legislation continue to loom, frontline organizations are racing to provide the resources, training and tools that frontline workers desperately need to feel safe throughout their shifts. 

Violence in the workplace

We’re here to help. In this Training Tips, we’re once again headed into the Content Marketplace, our library of off-the-shelf training content designed to quickly get frontline workers up to speed on the things they need to know.

Here’s an excerpt from our module, Violence in the Workplace. This topic teaches the importance of knowing the traits and characteristics of workplace violence, like how it can start, who is at risk and who to report it to. It also covers good workplace practices and what employees can do to protect themselves and their co-workers.

Types of workplace violence 

Violence in the workplace is not limited to traditional workspaces like the office.  

It can occur at conferences, customer lunches or even social events. Workplace violence can be committed by a person inside the workplace, a person connected to the workplace or a person with an indirect relationship with the workplace. 

Workplace violence includes physical attacks, as well as threatening behavior, verbal or written threats, harassment and verbal abuse. Workplace violence can start as small incidents involving negative remarks and inappropriate behavior, and if unchecked, may escalate to physical or psychological violence. 

Preventing workplace violence

Develop intentional practices aimed at  preventing  violent incidents, like using the buddy system in dark parking areas or any situation where people may feel unsafe. Be aware of co-workers who are exhibiting changes to their behavior, isolating themselves, having dramatic mood swings or making flawed or risky decisions. These could be warning signs of a troubled employee. 

Be aware of an increased risk of workplace violence 

In some situations, the risk of workplace violence increases. These might include:

  • Late or early hours, when it’s dark and fewer people are around
  • Stressful times of the year or month, like month-end or tax-return time
  • Certain business activities that can increase stress, like performance reviews

Report instances of workplace violence

If you think someone is being affected by workplace violence, or that someone may become violent in the workplace, report it when you feel it’s safe to do so (more on that in our next Training Tips on bystander intervention!). If you witness or are involved in an incident of violence in the workplace, you should follow your company protocol, which often includes informing your manager, direct supervisor and a member of your HR department. 

Our Content Marketplace is home to over 800 topics, expertly optimized for microlearning and reinforcement. Stay tuned for more training tips straight from the Marketplace! 

Michelle Wilton

Michelle Wilton is an accomplished learning professional with experience in instructional design, consulting and learning technologies.

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