This article was originally featured in Forbes
This year, workplace violence has had a tragic impact on people and businesses across the country.
In January, a pediatrician in Austin was murdered at her office. In March, a lone gunman opened fire inside a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10. In May, an active shooter killed 10 in a San Jose railyard. In September, an armed gunman shot 14 people, one of them fatally, in a supermarket in Collierville, Tennessee.
All of these incidents are shocking, but they have quickly vanished from the news cycle, and executives are sometimes in denial that it could ever happen at their company. In a recent survey of cyber and physical security executives, 55% of respondents reported that their CEO believes training employees so they are better prepared for potential workplace violence will create a culture of fear and that the CEO does not see ultimate risk to business continuity. More than one in five (22%) said their company has never addressed the potential for workplace violence and employees would not know what to do if an active shooter entered their facilities. Those figures are in line with 2019 research from the Society for Human Resources Management, which found that 45% of employees are aware of workplace violence programs at their company, and 29% said they are unsure of or would not know what to do if they witnessed an act of workplace violence.
Preventing and deterring workplace violence requires organizations to get everyone on the same page when it comes to threats. That includes training on what to do in the event of an active shooter, but it also means having strategies to identify warning signs of violence.
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